When was the last time you were so excited you couldn’t breathe or so overwhelmed with anticipation you couldn’t move? This is what the opening of chapter 8 in the book of Revelation looks like. The Lamb (Jesus) breaks the seventh seal on the scroll and immediately there is silence in Heaven. For me this is really hard to wrap my head around because I envision the deafening sound of praise, singing and joyful noises filling Heaven, then all of a sudden silence. There’s not even the sound of your breathing or your heartbeat in your ears, just absolute and total silence. Everyone in Heaven knows that something absolutely awesome is about to happen. And they don’t have to wait very long. In verse 1, scripture tells us 30 minutes.
In verses 6-12 we read of increased and expanding judgment on creation. But the thing I notice about the first four trumpet judgments in chapter 8 are that they are affecting the ecosystem. It’s easy for me to get caught up in trying to figure out the “how”; is the fire from the sky the result of volcanic eruptions, asteroids, or missiles and bombs, etc.? But if I focus on the results, then I get a slightly better understanding of the significance of the events. With the first trumpet we read that a third of the world’s landscape will be destroyed (trees and grass).The second trumpet will bring the destruction of a third of the world’s seas. The third trumpet will bring destruction to a third of the fresh water supply (rivers and springs). And the forth trumpet will bring a reduction in the world’s natural light sources (sun, moon and stars).
I don’t claim to have an extensive knowledge or understanding of exactly how these things will affect life on this extremely fragile planet we live on, but I have a feeling that surviving will be increasingly more difficult. Yet as difficult as it will be, verse 13 gives a warning of worse things to come.
Reading through the book of Revelation reminds me of a few things.
- God is holy and worthy of all praise and glory.
- God is sovereign over all things.
- There is a consequence to rejecting the gift of salvation provided by Jesus.
- And finally, there is still time.
As disciples of Jesus Christ, we should not be fearful of Christ’s return or the events surrounding it. Instead we should be sharing the reality that there is a God who is holy and sovereign, and there is a consequence for rejecting Him. But He is for us and has also provided a way for us to escape that consequence through the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. By accepting Jesus’ gift of salvation we get something better than just escaping the consequence, we get a real relationship with Him. All of scripture points to the fact that the holy and righteous creator is for us and wants to have a restored relationship with Him, now and for all eternity.
Father, you are mighty and glorious. You are sovereign and righteous and worthy of all creation declaring your majesty. I thank you that you have pursued me and did not leave me in my sin without hope. I thank you that you’ve given me a love I do not deserve and shown me that You value me more than I could ever imagine. Help me, Lord, to walk boldly and joyfully in that truth and share it with those that have not turned to You yet. Please continue to use me and my brothers and sisters as instruments of your grace, love and mercy to bring honor to Your kingdom for the glory of Your Son, Jesus Christ. It’s in His Name, I pray.
Marty Pina | Elder
Marty and Cecily began attending Hutto Bible Church in August of 2008. They both began living out their faith in 2003 while attending Gateway Community Church in Austin. They were married there in 2004. Marty serves in children's ministry, as a small group leader, small group coordinator and as a shepherd. Cecily has served as a C-group leader in student ministry in the past. She currently serves on the worship team and co-leads a small group and co-shepherds with Marty. Marty is currently employed as a network engineer for Time Warner Cable. Cecily is a medical billing software trainer for Brightree. They have two daughters, Alexis and Zoe.