“And when He broke the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.” ~Revelation 8:1
The scroll, the title-deed to the earth, was now completely wide open. And the millions of voices singing and praising God were suddenly quiet. There was a solemn hush. Why?
The first six seals unleashed horrors upon the earth- the antichrist, war, famine, death/disease, martyrdom, earthquakes, stars falling, the sun going black and the moon turning blood-red.
All in heaven knew that the seventh seal would bring even more tribulation, worse than the previous ones. More of God’s wrath would soon be poured upon the earth. But God gave the earth a short break between the first six seals and the seventh.
In Exodus, when the plagues were sent upon Egypt, there was a small respite between each, an opportunity given to Pharaoh- and to the Egyptian people- to change their hearts and let the Israelites go free. Here in Revelation, there is an opportunity given as well, to the men and women upon the earth to change their hearts and follow Jesus. God takes no pleasure in the death of any man, giving all of us time to choose repentance.
God tells us time and time again that He does not wish for anyone to perish apart from Him.
“‘Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked,’ declares the Lord GOD, ‘rather than that he should turn from his ways and live?'” ~Ezekiel 18:23
“‘For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,’ declares the Lord GOD. ‘Therefore, repent and live.'” ~Ezekiel 18:32
“‘Say to them, ‘As I live!’ declares the Lord GOD, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel?'” ~Ezekiel 33:11
“The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” ~2 Peter 3:9
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” ~John 3:16
The wickedness of this world has consequences, and must be punished and judged and put to an end. But God wants people to come to Him and have eternal life. He does not want anyone to die apart from Him. He created each and every one of us and loves us all dearly. He loves us with a Father’s love.
It pains a good parent to have to discipline his or her children. You give them every opportunity to choose the right path, but there are times that punishment is necessary to help them choose that path and stay away from the wrong ones. But, oh, the pain of having your child choose to walk away from you and the good, safe life you have created for them, and choose separation, heartache, and death… I cannot imagine the pain God must feel, every time someone rejects Him and His free gift of life through Jesus.
Choose life, that you might live! 🙂 And the angels will rejoice in heaven! “‘In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.'” ~Luke 15:10