“The Fifth Trumpet and First Woe”
“Then the fifth angel sounded: And I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. To him was given the key to the bottomless pit.” [Rev 9:1]
There are some interesting things to observe in this verse. “The star mentioned here seems to refer to a person rather than a literal star or meteor. …His fallenness is a clue to this being’s identity. In Luke 10:18, Jesus said He saw Satan ‘fall like lightning from heaven.’”[Walvoord]
John records in Rev 12:9-10, “So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night has been cast down.’”
In the midst of the Tribulation, Satan will be cast out of heaven and confined to the earth. As one commentator put it, “that’s when all hell is going to break loose upon this world.” No longer will Satan be “the accuser of the brethren” before God in heaven; rather he will be restrained to this earth as the Destroyer. He will be given the key to the abyss to release a swarm of demons to torture those who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads [ref. Rev 9:4]. These demons will not be given authority to kill, but to torment. This will be judgment no longer upon the earth, but directly upon people. “Their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it strikes a man” and “In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them.” [Rev 9:4-5].
“Picture what the world would be like if we were to open the doors of all the penitentiaries of earth and set free the world’s most vicious and violent criminals, giving them full reign to practice their infamies upon mankind. Something worse than that lies in store for the world. Satan, cast out of heaven, is now permitted to summon to his aid the most diabolical fiends in the abyss to act as his agents in bringing mankind to the footstool of the Beast.” [Phillips]
The amazing thing is that still, “they did not repent” [Rev 9:21]. Amazingly sad! It is, however, a product and reality of sin. A little sin desires more, even as a little leaven leavens the whole.
Lord help us to remove any leaven from our own lives. Because to be happy is to be holy; fully set apart to Him. Inner joy, peace, and security are only experienced in being right with God.