Scripture Reading: Revelation 8 and 9.
“When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. Then I saw seven angels who stood before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.” (Reveltion 8:1,2)
Revelation gives us several glimpses or the same picture but from different perspectives. There is a cyclical nature to the book of Revelation that gives us recurring glimpses of the work of Christ in the unfolding of God’s purposes. It shows us how the reigning Lord Jesus Christ brings the purposes of God to fulfillment in salvation for His people and in judgment for the wicked.
The first of these visions is the trumpets of judgment. When Christ broke the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. In the prophetical books of the Old Testament, the impending judgments of God were often preceded by silence (Habakkuk 2:20; Zechariah 2:13). Here in Revelation the silence is introduced to prepare us for the judgments that are about to be revealed.
The seven angels who stood before God were given seven trumpets. In ancient times the sound of a trumpet was a warning. Through the blowing of the trumpets the warnings of impending judgment are proclaimed throughout the earth. Men and women are called again and again by the Lord Jesus to turn from their rebellion against Him and to turn to God for deliverance.
The trumpets of judgment indicate a series of happenings that will occur again and again during the period of the last days. They do not symbolize single and separate events, but they refer to the woes that can be seen any day of the year in any part of the globe — such as storms on land (hail and fire) and storms on the sea, cosmic storms, spiritual storms from Satan, etc.
It is important to remember that the judgments of God laid upon the world have a two-fold purpose. First, they are a means of calling men and women to repentance and faith. Second, they are a means to punish the wicked for their sins. These judgments are not the final judgment. They are temporal judgments meant to warn unbelievers and to call them to Christ.
What is amazing is that God’s patience allows people to continue to live even after they continue to rebel against Him. Instead of being grateful for His mercy, they use it as an opportunity to sin all the more — “The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands…” (9:20). Since they refuse God’s mercy, nothing is left except the terrors of the final judgment on the last day, represented by the blowing of the seventh trumpet.
“Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness.” (Romans 11:22)
Lord God, as I consider the temporal judgments You bring upon the peoples of the earth, I pray for a fresh movement of Your Spirit. I pray for men and women to repent and embrace the saving work of Jesus Christ. I thank You for Your patience. You could easily destroy us all and be just in doing so. Yet, Your mercy and kindness continues in spite of all the evil that exists among us. I believe that we are facing some temporal judgments in these days. May we see Your hand at work warning us and calling us to Yourself.
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