After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree.
The four corners of the earth represent the four compass points East, West, North and South. They stand for the whole world. In this case, the winds represent God’s judgment upon the world. Note that in common usage people talk about the “winds of change” blowing across a country or region. Likewise, winds of judgment shall sweep across our globe according to God’s will and timing.
On God’s orders, the angels tasked with responsibility to unleash the next phase of divine judgments hold back. Their very stance speaks volumes, beloved.
Among other things, it speaks of the ripeness of the world for divine judgment. The angels of judgment are standing at the ready and have to be restrained. Humanity’s iniquities and rebellion have reached breaking point. Our transgressions call for divine retribution. The agents of judgment are ready to pounce.
Beloved, it’s only the grace of God that’s holding back the winds of divine judgment upon us. Let us not be fooled by the apparent immunity we enjoy in spite of our corruption. Let us not think for a moment that the rampant infanticide, immorality and injustice of our day is a small matter to heaven.
Although we must live with an awareness of God’s love, we must also be mindful of imminent judgment (see Heb. 6:2). How would our lives change if we really knew that we shall give account for all our actions, decisions and attitudes? How would we live if we truly believed that the wrath of God is literally hanging over our heads? That’s exactly how we should live!