“And out of the smoke locusts came down on the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth.” (Revelation 9:3).
We are at the end of the lectionary year as we head towards Christ the King Sunday so the readings on Sundays and in the daily lectionary are eschatological – end time focused.
In Revelation 9 a fallen star unlocks the Abyss to release toxic smoke which blots out the daylight. A star which used to give light is now rebelling its created purpose. A powerful star is aiding the powers of the Abyss, of Hell, to keep humanity from seeing the light, especially the light of God. We all can think of people who were once rising stars in our eyes who have given themselves over to this world and selfishness. Rather than blessing people, these fallen stars now add to the obscuring of what is truth and light in this world, especially obscuring the truth and light of Christ.
Out of the toxic smoke pours these locusts with the power of scorpions that certainly sound ominous and strike dread into us. Later in Revelation 9 ominous descriptions are given of these scorpion locusts. The scorpion locusts are scary to behold. These scorpion locusts have the power to torment people who are not sealed with the Holy Spirit. Carrying the destructive power of wickedness [Abaddon], the torment of these bugs is so great people wish they were dead.
What toxic stings cloud our perceptions so much we wish we were dead? Money concerns, relationship hiccups, career setbacks, peer acceptance, etc.
As fearsome as they look, they are still insects. Small insects. Having lived in Texas, I have been bitten by scorpions. Yes, the sting hurts. But unless you are allergic to the venom you will not end up in the hospital. We get so distracted by the stings, the light of the Gospel is obscured.
Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Mt 11:28–29).
When you get stung by this transitory life, don’t lose your mind and give up hope in life. Take your bites and stings to Jesus.