Saturday, October 06, 2007

Climate Change (4) - Four Angels

My search for references to climate change and global warming brought me to Revelation 7:1-3.

After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree. Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: "Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God."
The images in this passage were probably familiar to John’s listeners, but they are not part of our modern language. The “corners of the earth” is an expression describing the entire earth. The modern equivalent of the four corners is the word “global”

The four winds are a description of the “weather system”. Therefore the four winds from the corners of the earth represent the “global weather system”. John was describing changes in the global weather system. The actions of the four angels will bring about change that harms the land, the sea and the trees. A change in global weather patterns would bring about such far reaching effect.

The four angels have evil intent, but they are not fullly free. They cannot act until they are released by another angel, the one carrying the seal of God. This is important. Four evil angels are no match for one of God’s angels. Although these evil angels will eventually accomplish the harm they have been sent to do, they cannot act until God allows them to move. God is still in control and he will use what they intended for harm to accomplish his purposes. We should not fear these four angels, because God will turn their harm into good for his people.

John’s vision describes global climate change that will harm the earth, the trees and the sea.

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