“Then I looked, and I heard a single eagle crying loudly as it flew through the air, “Terror, terror, terror to all who belong to this world because of what will happen when the last three angels blow their trumpets.””
Revelation 8:13 NLT
An eagle with a message appears. It flew across the devastation below crying out a message warning of terrors to come. He said the word “Terror” three times, warning those still alive of that three more judgements were on their way. Each preceded by a trumpet blast.
But note those to whom the eagle’s message was directed. It wasn’t God’s people, but instead it was addressed “to all who belong to this world”. I don’t know about you, but I would like to think that should I have just lived through the first four trumpet judgements and the previous six seal judgements, then by now I would be on my knees before God begging for His forgiveness. But apparently this was not the case for most. We will read in the next chapter of Revelation that wickedness on the earth continued unabated, in spite of all the woes they were experiencing.
I wonder why it was an eagle that brought the message, and not a dove, which is often portrayed as the Holy Spirit? The eagle is a bird of prey, but, particularly in the Old Testament, an eagle is used in descriptions of God, referring to His strength. One of my favourite Scriptures is in Isaiah 40, and verse 31 reads, “But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint”. So was it God Himself visiting earth delivering a message of terror?
But coming back to the few words referring to those “who belong to this world”. We pilgrims might suggest that we live here on Planet Earth so we must belong here as well. However, nothing can be further from the truth. Jesus roamed the Palestinian paths preaching about the Kingdom of God. And His message taught that everyone had the opportunity to leave behind the earthly kingdom and instead embrace His Kingdom. Jesus taught His disciples to pray, and the famous prayer includes the line, “May Your Kingdom come“. Before Pilate, Jesus made the incredible statement, “My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world.” (Matthew 18:31).
We pilgrims belong to the Kingdom of God. It says on our spiritual passports that we are citizens of God’s Kingdom. There was a time when we were birthed into God’s Kingdom, and at that time we left behind us the earthly kingdom. So we pilgrims are living as foreigners, temporary residents, in the world around us. In 1 Peter 1:17 we read, “And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favourites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time here as “temporary residents””. We transitioned from the kingdom of darkness into God’s Kingdom. Colossians 1:13-14 reads, “For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of His dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins“. Yes, through Jesus mankind experienced the greatest rescue mission in all history.
So we look upon the end times events in a kind of detached way. Experiencing the pain and grief, but knowing that there will be a time coming when our exile on Planet Earth will come to an end.
Dear God. Thank You for Jesus. He paid the price required to rescue us from this dark and wicked kingdom and bring us into Your Kingdom. We are so grateful. Amen.