When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven.
Heaven is not used to silence. The sound of music is everywhere as the heavenly crowds — angels and God's redeemed people — sing the praises of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. So what happened to bring about this tense silence? It was as if heaven itself was holding its breath for some momentous event. And it was right, for this was the beginning of God's final judgment of an evil world. The Old Testament foretold this as two of the prophets, Zephaniah and Zechariah, both said that people should be silent as the great day of the Lord's judgment was approaching.
God's judgment seems something strange to us, something we just read about but don't take seriously — it feels far away and does not feel as if it all applies to us. But that is a false hope. God's judgment is real and the silence in heaven shows us what an awesome thing God's judgment is. And it is Christ who is in charge of the judgment of God upon the wicked world. It is the Lamb who is at the centre of all that is happening in this part of the Bible. The Lamb was put to death by the wicked people in the world and they still hate him. But one day all his enemies will be put under his feet. Jesus Christ is Lord and all heaven will declare his glory. Will we be among those who praise him and follow him?
Dear Lord, help me to see just how serious and real your judgment is and to be ready for it by your grace. Amen.