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.
There are many interpretations of these verses in the Book of Revelation. Most follow the ‘apocalyptic’ style of the writing, which to the contemporary way of thinking seems — in my understanding — to encourage theories of interpretation both fanciful and misguided, and at odds with what scripture reveals elsewhere. We have already looked at Revelation 8:1 in April 2020 (See ‘Silence In Heaven’). Here are some further thoughts.
Apocalyptic writing is a method of presenting ideas in a surreal — or better — a supernatural way, used here to express scriptural wisdom and spiritual truth. In essence it is a literary device, and one which powerfully describes the awe-inspiring nature of the Plan of God. However, it adds a layer of difficulty in interpreting and understanding the message. Indeed — as with all Bible writings there are levels of meaning beyond the mere literal.
In our gathering this week, we ranged between Malachi 3 and Revelation 8, 10 and 22; only a part of our meeting with The Lord in the air. This silence in heaven for about half an hour has engendered much speculation. Why the pause? Is this ‘the calm before the storm’, or perhaps something we often encounter when there is a significant change — a time of reconfiguration, readjustment and reflection? A pause before the next act of the drama; a time to prepare for a proclamation.
I believe that the mention of time here is important. If we look at the word or words involved in that expression, we see that it denotes a very short time, even instantaneous. The translation could read ‘in that same day’ or ‘in that same moment’, although that does not seem to make sense to us. The silence could not be instantaneous — at least not in the natural world. But in thought, in spirit, it is a different matter. ‘Silence’ here means ‘peace’ or maybe ‘dumbstruck’. John describes this time of peace as the angels preparing to sound the first trumpet — a moment, long or short, between the opening of the seventh seal and The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up. (verse 7)
God’s refining work then begins.
Meditate On These Things
"Behold, I send My messenger,
And he will prepare the way before Me.
And the Lord, whom you seek,
Will suddenly come to His temple,
Even the Messenger of the covenant,
In whom you delight.
Behold, He is coming,"
Says the LORD of hosts.
"But who can endure the day of His coming?
And who can stand when He appears?
For He is like a refiner's fire
And like launderers' soap.
He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver;
He will purify the sons of Levi,
And purge them as gold and silver,
That they may offer to the LORD
An offering in righteousness.
As it is difficult to illustrate the silence in heaven with a video, we shall not try,
and present this song of Heaven instead …
SING TO ME OF HEAVEN — Acapeldridge
A HOLY COMMAND: Oswald Chambers on LOVE
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GEORGE and GILL STEWART
for Cornerstone Christian Fellowship, Kilmartin
(unless post shows otherwise)