12 January 2016

BSF 2015-2016: Revelation 8-9

In chapter 8, we see Jesus opening the seventh seal on the scroll. When He opened the seal, there was silence in heaven for 30 minutes. There was an anticipation for what was about to happen.

The opening of the seventh scroll announces the seven trumpet judgments. When Jesus opened the seal, John saw seven angels, each with a trumpet.

Remember in chapter 6, we saw the martyrs cry out, asking God to avenge their deaths. He responded with, “Wait.” Now in chapter 8, God answers the martyrs’ prayers. An angel with a golden censer hurls fire on earth as a partial judgment. Here we see God as a righteous judge. Vindication and revenge are in God’s hands not ours. Our role is to pray. We can pray for justice, but we must pray for God’s justice in His perfect timing.

Now for the first six trumpet judgments. These trumpets reveal God’s judgment, call the forces of good and evil to come to battle, and announce Jesus’ return.

Many of the trumpet judgments are similar to the plagues God inflicted on Egypt as Moses tried to convince Pharaoh to release the Israelites.

  • First trumpet – Hail, fire, and blood rain down on earth.
  • Second trumpet – A mountain is thrown into the sea, one-third of the sea is turned to blood, one-third of sea creatures died.
  • Third trumpet – A star fell from the sky, one-third of the earth’s water is turned bitter, many people die.
  • Fourth trumpet – One-third of the sun, moon, and stars are darkened.

These judgments are inflicted upon nature. They are partial and limited. God does not allow for complete destruction. God demonstrates His sovereignty in this limited judgment. These judgments are wake-up calls for people to repent!

Next John sees bird. It speaks three woes as a warning for what is about to be unleashed through the next three trumpet judgments.

  • Fifth trumpet – A star is given a key to the Abyss, locusts came out of the Abyss, the locusts given limited power to sting people not destroy them or the earth. The Abyss is a place for Satan and his demons. It is a bottomless pit reserved for unbelievers, a place of torment.
  • Sixth trumpet – A voice released four evil angels with an army of 200 million troops, one-third of the earth’s population is killed. Those who were not killed still did not repent. They continued to sin against God and worship idols.

The people suffering through these trumpet judgments will desire death, but death will elude them (Revelation 9:6). In His mercy, God does not allow them to die because He is using this suffering as another chance for people to turn to Him.

God is in such control that He can limit destruction and judgment yet pour out His mercy in His perfect timing.

Things to Think About
  • God is a just and merciful God.
  • God has not unleashed His full wrath yet. There is still time to repent and seek God.
  • God will right all wrongs one day. Until then, we can pray for justice. But we must pray for God’s justice in His perfect timing.
  • All of God’s judgments (except the final judgment) are displays of His grace and patience. They are calls for people to come to repentance, restoration, and recovery in God.

This Week’s Memory Verse
“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!’” Revelation 8:13 NIV