“Seven Trumpets: A Forecast from Heaven”
Revelation 8 begins with some unfinished business from the last time: the opening of the
seventh seal. Last week we read about the opening of the first six seals of the scroll which
unleashed some horrible things upon the earth. As the seventh seal is now opened, there is a
profound silence in heaven that John says lasts about half an hour. This is then followed by the
giving of seven trumpets to seven angels. As the trumpets make their sound, the result is a
forecast from heaven that brings hell on earth.
So, what are we to make of this reading from the book of Revelation? Is this the Word of the
Lord declaring the Gospel of Jesus Christ? It might be hard to convince someone of the grace
and truth of the gospel by having them read Revelation 8 and 9. It’s a strange text full of
ghastly, violent images of terror and destruction. The only people I have noticed who seem to
enjoy this kind of reading are those who actually relish the idea of the condemnation of
unbelievers. They operate under a belief that God is glorified in the destruction of the wicked.
Such an attitude is unbecoming of those who are followers of Jesus. We need to hear the text
as it is and remember that these images, pictures and symbols are meant to depict a greater
reality. Once again, the controlling vision behind Revelation 8 and 9 is the picture of the Risen
and Victorious, Lord Jesus Christ. In the end, the gospel behind this reading is teaching us that
nothing will separate us from the love of God that is given in Christ Jesus, our Lord.