Seven Trumpets and…Happy Mother’s Day?
I. What is the CONTEXT of the TRUMPETS?
A. Be AWARE of the STRUCTURE. (Rev. 6 ;Rev. 8-11)
B. The TRUMPETS are the RESULT of prayer. (6:10; 8:1-6)
C. A key QUESTION is WHEN? (Mt. 24:29-30)
This is one of the most difficult sections of Revelation to read. The seven trumpets unleash suffering and death and destruction on the earth. Some of it is natural, but some is clearly demonic. Whether we like it or not, these events are the results of the prayers of the saints. They have cried out, “How long, O Lord…?” (6:10) and now He is answering their cry.
- Kid’s question: Have you ever had to warn someone about something? What happened?
- “These judgments are currently taking place on the stage of history.” Do you agree or disagree with that statement? Why or why not?
II. WHAT is the PURPOSE of the Trumpets?
A. To SOUND the WARNING… (Joel 2:1;Ez. 33:3-6)
B. …To those who RESIST the KINGDOM. (8:13; 9:4; 11:13)
C. The PATIENCE and RESTRAINT of God. (8:7-12; 9:10,15; II Pet. 3:9))
D. Judgment is GOOD NEWS. (6:10)
When you are seeking to destroy the enemy you don’t sound seven trumpets to let them know you are coming. Trumpets are sounded when you see the army advancing against you. They are a signal to prepare yourself – a warning of what is to come. In the same way, God is using these “limited” judgments to warn those who resist Him of what is coming if they continue to resist.
- Is judgment really good news? If it is why do we fear it so much? How can we communicate both the love and justice/judgment of God to those around us?
- In what ways do you see the patience and restraint of God around you today?
III. What is the RESULT of the Trumpets?
A. On the surface – SUFFERING and DESTRUCTION. (Rev. 8-9)
B. In the heart – Not MUCH… (until next WEEK). (9:20-21)
C. In the end – The COMING of the KINGDOM. (11:15-18)
The trumpets unleash horrible forces. Earth is subjected to pain, suffering, death, and destruction. And yet in spite of all that we see very little change. Humanity “…still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk. Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.” (9:20-21) Why is that? What else has to happen to bring about repentance?
- As we see this we say, “Why don’t people get it? Why can’t they see?” Has there ever been a time when you were slow to see what God was trying to say to you?
- Have you ever had God answer a prayer in a way that you would not have predicted? In a way that you would have not wanted? Share the story with your group.
IV. The REVELATION for TODAY…
A. PRAY and LIVE for JUSTICE. (Micahc6:8)
B. See the HAND of GOD all around you. (Psalm 19)
C. Be the CHURCH in the midst of JUDGMENT. (10:8-11)
How then should we live? If it’s true that God is unleashing these trumpets as signs of warning to the world around us, how do we live in that context? How do we work with Him instead of against Him? In a nutshell, what does the Lord require of us? The answer is so simple to say and yet so challenging to live. Do justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly with your God.
- What are some specific ways that we can both pray AND live for justice in our own context?
- If you had to sum up what God is teaching you from the book of Revelation in just a few sentences, what would you say?