“Then the fourth angel blew his trumpet, and one-third of the sun was struck, and one-third of the moon, and one-third of the stars, and they became dark. And one-third of the day was dark, and also one-third of the night. 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 8:12-13
As the fourth angel sounded, the focus of divine judgment shifted from the earth to the heavens. The heavenly bodies are hit with a plague from God so that a third of them would be darkened and the day would not shine for a third of it, and the night in the same way. This partial eclipse is temporary, as God will later increase the amount of heat coming from the sun (16:8–9). At this point, the loss of heat from the sun will cause temperatures to plunge drastically all over the world. That will severely disrupt the earth’s weather patterns and the seas’ tides, leading to violent, unpredictable storms and tides, the destruction of crops, and further loss of animal and human lives. The Old Testament prophets associated such signs in the heavens with the day of the Lord. Speaking through the prophet Ezekiel, God declared, “When I blot you out, I will veil the heavens and darken the stars. I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon will not give you its light. I will darken the bright stars overhead and cover your land in darkness. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!” (Ezekiel 32:7-8) The Lord Jesus Christ added His own prediction, “And there will be strange signs in the sun, moon, and stars. And here on earth the nations will be in turmoil, perplexed by the roaring seas and strange tides.” (Luke 21:25)
The dimming of the celestial lights sets the stage for a startling announcement. As John looked, he heard “an eagle flying in mid-heaven, saying with a loud voice, ‘Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!” The last three trumpet judgments will be more devastating than the first four. God is without limitations and cannot be put into a box. God is trying to convey to the people that He is above all and worthy of worship. God is teaching the people that He is Holy. He does not approve of how they are living, and He wants change. Real change begins with repentance. Will they change or will they continue in the hardness of their hearts?