This week we’ll be reading two chapters in Revelation – chapters 8-9 – as we continue on our journey through this book. There is a dense amount of imagery in this section dealing with another set of 7 events. We’ll be reading about the seven trumpet judgments that come on the earth. As we’ve said many times already, there are a myriad of differing views about what these images mean and when they take place.
I am someone who is persuaded by the interpretation that says this set of seven trumpets and the set of seven seals prior to it, are describing the same events but from differing perspectives. These may be descriptions of the state of the world during the period of time between Christ’s ascension and his return.
Again, as you read these images, use your imagination to picture the scenes and consider how those images make you feel. Revelation is a book meant to be experienced as well as read. In what ways have we seen our ecological environment negatively impacted, and how might that relate to the images of chapter 8?
Most of these images are showing us what happens when humanity gets its own way – we want to call the shots and rule the world, and the world becomes a tormenting place as a result.
All of these judgments carry that theme. And the last verses of chapter 9 show us the disheartening results. Judgement, and the threat of it, does not seem to change people’s hearts. What can we learn from this as we carry out the mission of the church?