SILENCE IS GOLDEN
Lord, unlike the ungodly world I bow my knee to You.
Read REVELATION 8
The Seventh Seal and the Golden Censer
8 When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.
2 And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.
3 Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar in front of the throne. 4 The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand. 5 Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.
6 Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to sound them.
7 The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down on the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.
8 The second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, 9 a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.
10 The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water— 11 the name of the star is Wormwood.[a] A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter.
12 The fourth angel sounded his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them turned dark. A third of the day was without light, and also a third of the night.
13 As I watched, I heard an eagle that was flying in midair call out in a loud voice: “Woe! Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels!”
a Revelation 8:11 Wormwood is a bitter substance.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Lord, still my heart and soothe my mind and soul to concentrate on You alone. Lord, let me know Your presence as I worship now.
The final seal leads on to the trumpet judgments, in mounting intensity as they proceed. These are certainly times no one will ever forget! But will people turn towards or against God? After the intense thunderous action of the other seals, when this seventh one is opened there is silence for about half an hour. One can’t imagine the intensity of this silence: all the singing, trumpets and noise are gone. How hard we find it to be silent before God! Yet how else will we hear? Silence is a discipline we desperately need in a world of constant noise.
We read of the seven angels with seven trumpets and then another angel acting like a high priest before the altar, along with incense and the prayers of all God’s people. That “all” is important, if you ever doubted God’s commitment to your prayers. What takes place in heaven clearly affects what occurs on earth, although we don’t understand it. Yet we can see the devastating results of God’s power when unleashed upon the earth. Nature and living creatures die and people are destroyed as we see a star fall—and then the sun and moon. The basic necessities of human life are affected, demonstrating God’s sovereignty. The Creator sees his creation choose sin over life. Four angels have released their destruction, yet the eagle cries its three woes as three angels are still to come. In all honesty, I found it hard to read about such destruction.
Throughout history Christians have suffered for Christ, as he did, but I trust the Bible, which says: “He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he” (Deut. 32:4).
Our prayers are powerful. God hears and acts upon them in ways we may never know. Today, pray with renewed trust in his perfect purposes.
Lord, Your people recognize Your judgments as perfectly righteous. Though we don’t fully understand, we still believe that Your justice is unimpeachable.