SCRIPTURE: Revelation 9
The seals represent the unfolding of history between Jesus’ first and final coming. The seventh seal is the last day, the great day of judgment.
Until that day, the effects of evil are being held back, restrained. This is very important: we have unleashed evil in this world, and if God were not restraining it, it would be hell beyond imagination; we think it’s bad now! When the 7th seal is opened, God allows evil to be released. The 7 trumpets and the 7 bowls represent the final months when humanity will be allowed to do whatever it wants – and it won’t be pretty. Again, the purpose of this time is to lead people to repentance… but those who refuse will miss their last chance [9:20-21]. Everything God allows is designed for this one purpose, to lead people to see the ugliness of sin, and to turn back to God in humility for mercy. And He is glad to offer it, for those who seek it!
The Lord does not delight in evil. We introduced evil into the world, we are responsible for it. If it wasn’t for His hand holding it back, things would be so much worse (can you imagine that?).
The Lord is restraining and guiding all things, including sin and suffering, to lead me to admit my need for Him, and the ugliness of selfishness, greed, cruelty, lust, anger, revenge, etc. He does not want anyone to perish, He wants everyone to come to Him for life. He is doing everything He can to bring us back, but we must respond.
A day is coming when all hell will break loose, and we will see what this world will look like if everyone gets their wish – to do whatever they want, to be independent of God. This is what is represented by the trumpets and the bowls. And this time will be the last time for people to repent.
Do I make light of sin, do I tolerate the very things that led to Jesus’ suffering and death? Where is He calling me to repent?
Lord, how little we realize the horrible extent and perversion of sin. How little we appreciate how much You do to help us. How foolish I am in tolerating in my own heart the kinds of things you had to die for. Please convict me, and help me.