Praise and glory
and wisdom and thanks and honor
and power and strength
be to our God for ever and ever.
(Revelation 7.11-12, NIV)
Author: Rob Anderson
It doesn’t end quite like you would expect it to, does it?
In Revelation 6, the Lamb begins to open the seven seals of the scroll found in heaven.
After the first seal is opened, there is a voice like thunder and a white horse rides out, bent on conquest.
After the second seal, a red, fiery horse, with a rider who has a large sword, having the power to make people on earth kill each other.
After the third seal, a rider is on a black horse with a pair of scales.
After the fourth seal is broken, a rider on a pale horse named “Death” comes, one which had the power to “kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.”
After the fifth seal, the souls of those who had been slain call out in a loud voice: “How long?”
After the sixth seal is broken, there is a great earthquake. The sun turns black and the moon blood read.
So what would one expect as a climax after the seventh and final seal is opened?
My assumption would be that complete chaos would break loose after this last seal is broken. There has been a buildup of events, leading up to the culmination of … thirty minutes of silence.
I believe that once that final seal is broken, the deed is done. God’s punishment on the wicked and salvation for the righteous is complete and the only natural response to the sovereignty of God is silence.
In Habakkuk 2, we are reminded that false gods need to have their voices provided for them, but when the One in power is acknowledged, silence is the best option. There is no need to clamor or try to say just right thing. God has already done what needs to be done and now, we simply rest in his goodness.
Let all the earth be silent, indeed.
Revelation 5 tells us that the lamb that was worthy to open the seals of the scroll that told of the final battle between God and Satan was a lamb that looked like it had been slain. Does a lamb, much less a slain lamb, evoke a sense of power and awe in your mind? Why or why not? In what ways does the death of this lamb actually indicate a power far beyond what it appears on the surface?
Stop and think for a moment about the 7 attributes applied to God in Revelation 7.12. What does it mean for God to be worthy of these seven things? How do these attributes help cement in your mind God’s sovereignty, that is, his worth as the creator and sustainer of the world, and in the book of Revelation, the victor over evil?
When the final seal of the scroll was opened, there was silence for half an hour. What did you expect to happen when this seal was opened, based on what you have read about the other 6? In what ways does silence actually show power, more power than a commotion would have indicated? What examples can you give that shows this to be the case?