Today, Thursday April 21
The Sound of Silence Revelation 8:1-6 “When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel's hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake. So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.”
Have you ever noticed that silence can get your attention better than the noise of people talking and someone speaking in front of the class? I’ll never forget my first year in Bible College at LBC. I was sitting in a Bible survey class in the Lynchburg Christian Academy facility at Thomas Road Baptist Church. Dr. Jim Moon was teaching and for some reason I had lost interest in what he was saying and was reading a book I brought to class with me. I was paying absolutely no attention to what he was saying as I was lost in the story before me. I vividly remember, the sound of the rustling of pages being turn by the students around me and the voice of Dr. Moon stop. Complete silence! Immediately I looked up and around me. Dr. Moon is staring at me along with everyone else in the class! The sound of the silence was deafening! After Dr. Moon got my attention with the silence, it was quite embarrassing as Dr. Moon asked me if what I was reading was more important and interesting than what he was teaching. I quickly shut the book I was reading and listened intently to him the rest of the class!
This is what happened in this scene in heaven when the seventh seal is open. I can only imagine the attention of all of the inhabitants of heaven becoming focused on the contents of the seven-sealed book as this seventh seal is open and for thirty minutes there was absolute silence.
This silence and scene must have reminded John of the prophecy of Zephaniah hundreds of years earlier. “Be silent in the presence of the Lord GOD; For the day of the LORD is at hand, For the LORD has prepared a sacrifice; He has invited His guests. "And it shall be, In the day of the LORD'S sacrifice, That I will punish the princes and the king's children, And all such as are clothed with foreign apparel.” (Zephaniah 1:7-8)
“The great day of the LORD is near; It is near and hastens quickly. The noise of the day of the LORD is bitter; There the mighty men shall cry out. That day is a day of wrath, A day of trouble and distress, A day of devastation and desolation, A day of darkness and gloominess, A day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of trumpet and alarm Against the fortified cities And against the high towers. "I will bring distress upon men, And they shall walk like blind men, Because they have sinned against the LORD; Their blood shall be poured out like dust, And their flesh like refuse." Neither their silver nor their gold Shall be able to deliver them In the day of the LORD'S wrath; But the whole land shall be devoured By the fire of His jealousy, For He will make speedy riddance Of all those who dwell in the land. (Zephaniah 1:14-18)
It appears that the prophet Zephaniah got a glimpse of this very scene in heaven just before the wrath of God is poured out on the earth as the seven trumpets begin to sound. The prophets Zechariah and Habakkuk both prophesied about this also: “Be silent, all flesh, before the LORD, for He is aroused from His holy habitation!" (Zechariah 2:13) “But the LORD is in His holy temple. Let all the earth keep silence before Him." (Habakkuk 2:20)
It is obvious today that the storm clouds of God’s wrath are on the horizon! Maybe we should take to time to get silent before the Lord and listen to what He has to say to us today!