Revelation Week 7 – The Trumpets

Chapter 8

We’re going to see the beginning of de-creation

After the pause we finally get back to the seals. The seventh seal is opened and then there’s silence

  • Just as creation started with silence broken by a word, silence has to initiate de-creation
  • Silence allows God to hear the prayers of the faithful – Heaven is silenced because God is now turning his attention fully to responding to the concerns of earth

Seven angels – archangels, assigned various tasks, here they’re all given the same tasks, to sound the trumpets

  • Significance of the trumpets – Joshua brings down the walls of Jericho with the sound of trumpets, God initiates the end of creation the same way

Before that – back to the throne room – Good reminder that God is still in the throne room as this is happening – these events aren’t random or haphazard, nor are they from some power of evil

God hears the prayers and the response is a fiery. God has heard the prayers of his people and now the world is going to know his response

The Seven Trumpets

  • Going to follow a similar pattern to the seals, 6 escalating each time with an interlude before the 7th
  • Most commentators now – these events overlap, not come after
    • At the same time humanity is destroying itself (the wars in the seals), creation is also being impacted
      • Makes sense, do our wars or actions only impact people? No, creation suffers as a result
  • Each of the first four trumpets depict impacts to the natural world
    • First trumpet – vegetation is impacted
    • Second – salt water
    • Third – fresh water
      • Wormwood – small bush, bitter, used to treat intestinal worms in livestock. Parallel to Exodus when wood turns water clean. Now the water is being turned foul
    • Fourth – heavenly bodies impacted
  • Each impacts “1/3,” a lot but not enough to stop us. Also a sign that the judgement isn’t complete
  • Big picture: the world is in love with war, dominated by empire (who demands your allegiance from God) and as we pursue the desires of empire the earth is falling apart but we refuse to change (because its only impacting 1/3)

Chapter 9

  • So far the impact of the plagues from the trumpet haven’t touched people directly, now that changes
  • 5th Trumpet
    • Star that has fallen from the sky – some fallen angel
      • He’s allowed to open up the pit where evil has been housed, and what comes out are locust so concentrated that they look like smoke
        • They only touch the non-believers (we’ll dive in to that more later)
        • Only last 5 months – life cycle of an actual locust. The terror has an end point
          • Two things on that:
            1. Good word for us – evil always has an expiration date
            2. Not so good word for the world – that allows people to outlast it and move past it
        • Appearance of the locusts – they’re people
          • People do the worst evil to other people.
        • Their king’s name – Apollyon – close to Apollo, who was often symbolized with a locust, and who the emperor Domitian claimed to be the living embodiment of
          • Identifying the emperor as truly just a king of evil
  • 6th Trumpet
    • Only plague that directly causes death to humans
    • Unleashes some threat from east of the Euphrates (where all of Israel’s tormentors have come as well as the domain of the Parthians)
    • Once again only 1/3 of humanity is impacted, once again that isn’t enough to make people change their ways. 
      • We fall into the same traps because we manage to downplay the results of our mistakes

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