This is the first of the seven trumpets. The one thing that becomes obvious as we study the trumpets is that the trumpets serve as a warning to this world. In each of the trumpet judgments it is one third of this or one third of that that is touched or ruined by God. God does not yet intend to poor out the fullness of His wrath. The trumpets are the warning whereas the bowls of God’s wrath that shall be seen later are the fullness. Therefore we see the grace of God even in a world completely given over to rebellion. God has turned men over to their sin and is still giving them space to return. He is sounding the trumpet and trying to show men their sin (Isa. 58:1). Sadly, we shall see that they will not repent. We also see that God is showing His superiority over the gods in which men worship. Just as the ten plagues of Egypt were meant to attack the gods of Egypt so these seven trumpets attack the gods which men have chosen in the last days. Mankind has chosen to worship the creature instead of the Creator therefore God, who will have no other gods before Him, will show the world that their Dagon must fall before His Ark. Jamieson et al stated that “The common feature of the first four trumpets is, the judgments under them affect natural objects, the accessories of life, the earth, trees, grass, the sea, rivers, fountains, the light of the sun, moon, and stars. The last three, the woe-trumpets (Revelation 8:13), affect men’s life with pain, death, and hell. The language is evidently drawn from the plagues of Egypt, five or six out of the ten exactly corresponding: the hail, the fire (Exodus 9:24), the WATER turned to blood (Exodus 7:19), the darkness (Exodus 10:21), the locusts (Exodus 10:12), and perhaps the death (Revelation 9:18). Judicial retribution in kind characterizes the inflictions of the first four, those elements which had been abused punishing their abusers.” We might even find that they correspond to the seven trumpets of Joshua at Jericho the first battle of the conquering of the Promised Land. God intends to rule this earth and will first sound the trumpets on this earths Jericho.
Despite what parallel we find we see plainly that these trumpets warn of further wrath. We will naturally deal with the trumpets as they are divided by God; the first four which are general attacks on nature and the last three which are called woes which attack man himself. God getting mans attention by raining wrath upon him. All four of the first four come from heaven; the first two are described as fire coming from heaven, the third is a star falling from heaven, and the fourth is described as the smiting of the stars and sun. Ultimately we find a truism: man does affect his environment. On this we and the environmentalist may agree but not completely. The environmentalist believes the earth is a god to be worshipped but we believe that the God which created the earth is to be worshipped. They do not believe in the reality of sin and we as Christians believe that it is the sin of man that effects his environment. The first four trumpets effect the things of this earthly environment in which men rely on for their sustenance.
We see first that the fruit of the earth was destroyed; one third of the ground was destroyed. “The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.” Some would say that this is a description of missile warfare and it may be. God can certainly use the wrath of man to judge the earth and has done so in history. Or it could be the violence of storm; hail, lightening, and blood (whether literal or not) falling to the earth. I would go for the second explanation. This resulted in leaving a desolate earth the trees and grasses were burned up. These trees and grass were the things that provided our oxygen and provided for us fruit which we could eat. We count on our green land for our life. We today take for granted that we can just go to the store and buy fresh fruit but there is coming a day in which the fruit of the earth will become a precious and rare and expensive commodity.