Scripture Reading: Ezra 1:1-2:67 / Revelation 8:1-9:12 / Psalm 144:9-15
On April 26, 1986, a catastrophic nuclear accident took place in Chernobyl, USSR. An explosion and fire at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant released large quantities of radioactive particles into the atmosphere, which spread over much of the western USSR and Europe. The Chernobyl disaster was the worst nuclear power plant accident in history and one of only two classified as a maximum level 7 disaster. The results: billions of dollars, numerous deaths as well as long-term diseases and deformities.
The Chernobyl disaster in 1986 cannot even begin to compare to the devastation and destruction of a future Chernobyl disaster found in Revelation 8. The Russian word for Chernobyl is translated “wormwood” and we read, “The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs or water – the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter.” (Revelation 8:10,11)
This future disaster will affect the world, as a third of the worldwide natural waters will become bitter from the poison of the Wormwood star. Deaths will be numerous and common. This disaster is only part of God’s future judgment upon an unbelieving and evil world. Interestingly, the similarities we find between the future bitterness of Wormwood and the present bitterness of sin are significant.
Bitterness is an internal attitude and spirit that holds onto hurts, wrongs, abuses and offenses. Bitterness does not forget and does not let go. When others commit wrongs against us, say hurtful things to us or forcefully take things from us, bitterness presents itself as a comforting friend. Initially, it may strengthen us but we quickly discover it is a poison that destroys us from the inside out and leaves us resentful, cynical, harsh and cold. Bitterness is not always visible but conceals itself deep within our heart.
Bitterness has an intoxicating effect upon man. It clouds judgment, blurs focus and deadens or immunes it’s victims to reality. It is poisonous, defiles man from the inside out and eventually leads to certain death. Many relationships have been destroyed because of bitterness as it manifests itself in anger, rage, wrath and unforgiveness.
The future star of Wormwood will have worldwide repercussions in the future yet we cannot overlook the presence and destruction of bitterness in our world today. The repercussions of bitterness are far reaching and will destroy the embittered and their targets. The truth is, the consequences of bitterness are life long and eternal. Guard your heart…only allow exclusive access to the Spirit of God and be sure to remind bitterness of the “No Trespassing…Keep Out” sign.
Pastor James Clark has pastored Calvary Assembly since 1985. He is blessed with his wife Yvonne, six children, two son-in-laws, a beautiful granddaughter and hopefully many more grandchildren to follow!