Was That a Trumpet I Heard?

May 4, 2010

Though the oil spill in the gulf is a little off-topic for me (this blog focuses not on resource issues associated with population growth, but its role in driving unemployment), I couldn’t resist sharing a thought. 

As I watched news coverage a couple of nights ago, I was struck by the aerial views of the huge slick that showed a sea that appeared to be streaked with red.  It reminded me of something from the Book of Revelation in the Bible.  Here’s the passage:

When the second angel blew his trumpet, something like a large burning mountain was hurled into the sea.  A third of the sea turned to blood, a third of the creatures  living in the sea died and a third of the ships were wrecked.  (Revelation 8: verse 8.)

Biblical scholars caution us that Revelation is not to be taken literally – that it was written as an admonition for the Christians of the first century to stand firm against the persecutions of Rome, drawing heavily upon symbolism from the Old Testament.  Biblical scholars cannot say for certain whether the author, “John,” is the apostle John.  Neither can they say for sure that it isn’t a a literal description of visions revealed to John.  If it is, it’s easy to see how someone of that day, if shown news footage of what’s happening in the gulf, might describe the exploding, burning oil rig that eventually collapsed into the sea as “something like a large burning mountain was hurled into the sea.”  And someone of that day may interpret red streaks in the sea as blood.  The slick is expanding daily and could easily cover a third of the gulf if not stopped soon.  No doubt, lots of “creatures living in the sea” will be killed by this.  A third of the ships wrecked?  Not yet, anyway. 

It’s always interesting to hear someone try to relate a current event to something in the Book of Revelation.  Usually, it’s a stretch of the imagination to make such a connection.  But in this case, it seems an eerily accurate description.  Maybe it is a description of a burning oil rig and subsequent oil spill – if not this one, then perhaps another in the future.  Or maybe it’s nothing of the sort.  No one could ever say for sure.  But it’s interesting – even fun (in a morbid sort of way) – to speculate.  So, at the risk of being labeled a nut case and ruining my credibility on this blog, I just thought it’d be an interesting thought to share.  Make of it what you will.