“When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. Then I saw the seven angels who stand in the presence of God; seven trumpets were given to them. Another angel with a gold incense burner, came and stood at the altar. He was given a large amount of incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the gold altar in front of the throne. The smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up in the presence of God from the angel’s hand. The angel took the incense burner, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it to the earth; there were rumbling of thunder, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake. And the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to blow them.” Revelation 8:1-6
Will you join me in a prayerful consideration?
All seven seals are opened and there is silence in heaven for about half an hour. Silence. Another reference to silence is found in Zephaniah 1:7, “Be silent in the presence of the Lord God, for the Day of the LORD is near.” Most interpreters understand the silence to refer to the awesome silence before the great storm of God’s wrath on the earth. A kind of Sabbath pause might be thought of here. (Expositors)
The Day of the Lord begins with the trumpet judgments. The seals were opened by the Lamb but the judgments are carried out by seven angels. Next week, we will look at the other components of these verses but today we will prayerfully consider the trumpets. Let’s look at some other verses where a trumpet is utilized because its use as an eschatological signal of the day of the Lord (or return of Christ) is well established.
The Lord spoke to Moses and told him to make two trumpets of hammered silver to summon the community and have the camps set out. When both trumpets were sounded in long blasts, the entire community was to gather before Moses at the entrance to the tent of meeting. If one blast was sounded, only the leaders were to gather before Moses. Short trumpet blasts were sounded to inform the camps to set out. When Moses called the assembly together, long trumpet blasts not short ones were to be sounded. Who blew the trumpets? The sons of Aaron, the priests. The Lord told Moses that this was to be a permanent statute throughout the generations. (Numbers 10:1-8)
The Lord also told Moses when they entered into battle in their land against an adversary who was attacking them, they were to sound short blasts on the trumpets and the Lord would remember them and deliver them from their enemies. (Don’t you just LOVE that! When in line with God’s commands they could sound the trumpet and He would deliver them!! Hallelujah! We might not be blowing trumpets in our day but we certainly raise holy voices to the One that can deliver!) They were also told to sound the trumpets over their offerings, sacrifices, festivals, beginning of months and on joyous occasions. The trumpets would serve as a reminder for them that Yahweh was their God. (I don’t know about you but I want nothing more than to raise this voice of mine right now and shout out a reminder that Yahweh is MY God! What about you?) This whole section is intriguing to me because Yahweh told Moses HOW and WHEN he wanted the trumpets used. They summoned the people AS WELL AS Himself. Glory! He used the trumpets then and He will use them again soon. Are you listening with anticipation? LORD, unstop our ears for your sound!
“Then you are to sound a trumpet loudly in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month; you will sound it throughout your land on the Day of Atonement.” (Leviticus 25:9 The trumpet calls the people to prepare for the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippuror). This Feast of Trumpets is an annual feast and it was to be a day of compete rest, commemoration, and joyful shouting (Lev. 23:23, Psalm 81:1-3). This was also a day to hold a sacred assembly (reading of the Word together) and to practice self-denial.
“On the third day, when morning came, there was thunder and lightning, a thick could on the mountain, and a loud trumpet sound, so that all the people in the camp shuddered.” Exodus 19:16
“As the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and God answered him in the thunder.” Exodus 19:19
Today Jesus is our high priest (Hebrews 6:20) and we are not required to blow trumpets. However, God instructed His watchmen to warn His people regarding sin (Ezekiel 33:7-9) and to raise their voice like a trumpet (Isaiah 58:1). Do you consider yourself to be one of God’s watchmen? Not only warning people about sin but speaking the truth of His Gospel as in Matthew 24:14? You are!
“This good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed in all the world as a testimony to all nations. And then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14) The word ‘proclaimed’ means ‘to herald’ as a public crier. “In the East today every village even has its public crier, selected for his loud or penetrating voice, and appointed to give notice of the fresh orders or mandates of the mudir (“governor”) or other authorities.” They were preceded by trumpeters who made official proclamations. (from International Standard Bible Encyclopedia) Remember Isaiah 58:1? “Cry out loudly, don’t hold back!” Fascinating!
“Blow the horn (trumpet) in Zion; sound the alarm on My holy mountain! Let all the residents of the land tremble, for the Day of the LORD is coming; in fact, it is near – “ Joel 2:1 (see others Zep 1:16 and Isaiah 27:13)
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16
“Listen! I am telling you a mystery: We will not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the blind of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed.” 1 Corinthians 15:51-52
“He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.” Matthew 24:31
This Psalm is so delightful to me I have to include it in its entirety! “Hallelujah! Praise God in His sanctuary. Praise Him in His mighty heavens. Praise Him for His powerful acts; praise Him for His abundant greatness. Praise Him with trumpet blast; praise Him with harp and lyre. Praise Him with tambourine and dance; praise Him with flute and strings. Praise Him with resounding cymbals; praise hIm tie clashing cymbals. Let everything that breathes praise the LORD. Hallelujah!” Psalm 150
Let’s review the parallelism of the verses in Matthew and Seals 1-6.
Matthew 24:6-29 Parallelism to the six Seals
Matthew 24:4 1st Seal
Matthew 24:6 2nd Seal
Matthew 24:7 3rd Seal
Matthew 24:7 4th Seal
Matthew 24:9 5th Seal (Mat. 24:9-28)
Matthew 24:29 6th Seal
Father, as Your watchmen, may our voice be used as a trumpet today. Holy and pleasing to Your ears.
♥Recall the challenge to break a habit in three weeks (post dated Feb. 9). You will know you have broken the habit when it no longer is your knee-jerk response in a situation. You may occasionally respond similarly in the future but don’t think you have failed in breaking that specific habit. Repent and continue moving forward. The same example can be see with sin in the Christ-follower. Just because you are a Christian does not mean you will never sin again. Chin up DIVAs – God is for you! Please post successes!
In HIs Grace,