Sin resulted in widespread disaster and terrible pain, yet pain is actually a form of God's grace.
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Revelation 8 (ESV)
1 When the Lamb opened the seventh seal,
there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.
2 Then I saw
the seven angels
who stand before God,
and seven trumpets were given to them.
3 And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer,
and he was given much incense
with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne,
the smoke of the incense,
with the prayers of the saints,
rose before God from the hand of the angel.
5 Then the angel
took the censer
and filled it with fire from the altar
and threw it on the earth,
and there were peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.
6 Now the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to blow them.
7 The first angel blew his trumpet,
and there followed
hail and fire,
mixed with blood,
and these were thrown upon the earth.
a third of the earth was burned up,
and a third of the trees were burned up,
and all green grass was burned up.
8 The second angel blew his trumpet,
and something like
a great mountain,
burning with fire,
was thrown into the sea,
a third of the sea became blood.
9 A third of the living creatures in the sea died,
and a third of the ships were destroyed.
10 The third angel blew his trumpet,
and a great star
fell from heaven,
blazing like a torch,
and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water.
11 The name of the star is Wormwood.
A third of the waters became wormwood,
and many people died from the water, because it had been made bitter.
12 The fourth angel blew his trumpet,
and a third of the sun was struck,
and a third of the moon,
and a third of the stars,
a third of their light might be darkened,
and a third of the day might be kept from shining,
and likewise a third of the night.
13 Then I looked,
and I heard an eagle crying with a loud voice as it flew directly overhead,
“Woe, woe, woe
to those who dwell on the earth,
at the blasts of the other trumpets that the three angels are about to blow!”
Revelation 8 Summary
Remember that as we read through Revelation that we keep reading about the same events over and over from different perspectives. To us it seems the seven seals came first, next come seven trumpets, and after all of that the seven bowls of wrath are poured out (we'll read about them in the coming days). But if we understand these accounts as different perspectives of the same events, it helps us see that Revelation is not just telling us about the future, but rather how Christ's victory has already, is now, and still will be fully accomplished.
The trumpets here in chapter 8 represent God's warning to sinful man to repent. Today's chapter tells of four of the seven trumpets, and though they're all different, they do have some commonalities.
First, they all trigger fantastic disasters: fiery killer hail, great mountains thrown in the sea, a star crashing into the waters and the astronomical lights going out. The hyperbolic descriptions John gives here serve two purposes. Certainly they convey terrible suffering, but the logistically impossible illustrations help point us away from trying to match specific disasters the world has experienced with specific trumpet blasts in Revelation. The point is that all disasters - big and small - are trumpet calls from God calling the world out of sin.
Second, each of these trumpet calls have limited results. Notice how many times the phrase a third is used. Just as each of these trumpet blasts are only partially destructive, so does the world only partially respond to God's call to experience His grace.
We read that the prayers of God's people go up before Him like the smoke of incense (v3-4). What a blessing to know that right now, your prayers are rising up before God and He is sensing your prayers in more ways than just hearing them.
AAA Prayer :
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father strikes terrible fear in sinners, but He extends you grace, mercy and peace.
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you'll be able to trust in God's goodness when disasters strike
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: