by Scot McKnight, Pathos, 10/24/18.
What about those trumpets of terror that unfold in Revelation 8-11? For our posts on Revelation we are reading Craig Koester Revelation and the End of All Things and Ian Paul, Revelation.
I have reformatted Koester’s wonderful summary into separable points:
Seven trumpets are blown in succession, creating the third cycle of visions in Revelation. At the conclusion of the previous cycle, a graceful silence lingered in heavens chambers after the voices in the celestial chorus had sounded the “Amen” in their praises of God and the Lamb (7:12; 8:1). Rather than allowing readers to bask in quietude, however, John directs attention to seven angels, who are given seven trumpets, whose sound will break the stillness and signal an onslaught of new visions even more terrible than those that have gone before (8:2).
This section plays a major role in showing how God s purposes are to be understood.
What if God responds with wrath?
The opening scene in which prayers rise from the altar (8:3-5) recalls how the martyrs under the altar had demanded to know how long God would delay in bringing justice against those who had shed their blood (6:9-11). The trumpet visions now reply to the prayers by implicitly raising a question: What if God responds to the prayers by sending wrath on the unrepentant world? What will that accomplish? Readers are shown the horror of pitiless wrath as disasters strike earth, sea, and sky, and demonic hordes of locusts and cavalry torment humanity amid clouds of fire, smoke, and sulfur (8:7-9:21).
Wrath accomplishes what?
Yet the wrath accomplishes nothing. The wicked simply persist in their refusal to repent (9:20-21). At this point readers might well expect the seventh trumpet to signal the arrival of God’s catastrophic judgment with earsplitting finality. But the last trumpet does not sound and the end does not come.
Read more at … http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2018/10/24/the-book-of-revelations-trumpets-of-terror/