Open Your Bible
Revelation 8:1-13, Revelation 9:1-21, 1 Peter 3:8-12, 1 Corinthians 15:51-52
The language in today’s passage is full of rich imagery: a flaming mountain is thrown into the sea, a third of the stars are blackened, and crowned locusts ride horses with scorpion tails into battle. It’s both chillingly specific and massively cryptic—and why are there seven seals, anyway? Before we get carried away, we have to remember that Scripture must first be interpreted through the lens of Scripture. So where else in Scripture do we see the number seven? It’s a parallel to the seven days of creation, the seventh day of the week as the Sabbath, Jacob’s seven years of service to Laban, the seven trumpets of Jericho, etc. In God’s Word, seven is a number of completion.
In all the swirling imagery, the central purpose of all Scripture is to teach the good news of the gospel: Christ has come to save. And the whole book of Revelation is just the same. These judgments show us the completion of God’s good work. And the end purpose of God’s work of salvation is that He should abide with us, and we with Him. He is our God, and we are His people.
Because we are His, we can rejoice at His coming, and at the restoration of righteousness. Judgment must come. Justice is necessary because He is justice. He will make all things right. He will not allow wickedness to go on forever.
God’s judgment is total, and our only escape is Jesus. For those of us in Christ, our judgment was paid by Christ at the cross. The weight of our judgment has already fallen on Him. Therefore, we should rejoice at God’s coming judgment, because it will restore righteousness.
We are His, and so we need not fear any present tribulation. The consequences of evil in this world are scary, and the threat to believers is real. But the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous (1 Peter 3:12). He is always with us, and He cares for us. His ears are open to our prayers, and He is not indifferent to our cries. Even in judgment, God is merciful to those who love Him.
We need not fear, because we are His. Instead, we can be people of hope, joy, and peace. This is cause for great rejoicing. His justice is ongoing, and this passage is not the final judgment but a picture of God’s ongoing work in the world. He is constantly doling out mercy to us, deferring judgment, calling us back to Him. His work is not done in our families or in our communities. Therefore, have hope for your children, for your parents, and for your neighbors who are not yet believers. God is constantly at work.