In this chapter something new happens in the throne room, silence. To this point there has been singing and proclamation, but no mention of silence. I can only imagine it to be one of those disturbing silences that you know carries something bad. In the silence trumpets and a censer for incense are handed out and put to use. Remember this is before the return of Christ to the earth, this is all part of the preparation.
First we find the censer being used to lift prayers before God, then it is used to initiate the judgment of the earth. Filled with fire from the heavenly altar, it is flung to the earth with thunder, lightening and an earthquake. I am certain at this point the inhabitants of earth might have noticed something was about to happen. Then the trumpets start. First, hail mixed with blood fell from the sky burning up a third of the earth, a third of the trees and all the green grass. The second trumpet sounds and the seas are upset by a huge mountain like object. This caused a third of the seas to turn into blood, along with the death of a third of the creatures in the sea and a third of the ships destroyed.
As the third trumpet is sounded and the star Wormwood falls to into the rivers and a third of them turn bitter, bitter enough to kill people. The fourth trumpet blasts and a third of the sun is struck along with a third of the moon and the stars. A third of the day was without light as well as a third of the night. All of this seems to be the beginning of a recreation on earth. Think for a moment about the first creation, chaos covered the earth, and God spoke bringing it to order. Here God has spoken and chaos is being brought on creation. To me it is God setting the stage for the renewal of all things one earth as they were intended to be at creation.
By the end of the chapter a pretty grim picture is painted. The challenging news is given from an eagle who warns of the next three trumpet blasts. In essence telling us we have not seen anything yet. Keep reading the story is just getting good.