Summary: God pity those who will be here upon this earth when the seventh seal is removed! Will you be here? If you are not born again, you may be. But you can be saved this moment . . .
By: Tom Lowe Date: 1/13/16
Title: Seventh Seal: Silence in Heaven (Revelation 8:1)
Revelation 8:1 (KJV)
And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.
Chapter 7 was an interlude. At the end of chapter six, the sixth seal had been opened (6:12). Here at the beginning of chapter 8, the Lamb opens the seventh and last seal. The breaking of this seal produces a deep silence in heaven, a silence which is caused by the prayers of God’s beleaguered saints on earth. But God holds up the entire process of judgment while He receives and weighs the prayers of His own. [That is one opinion, but not the one I and many others have put forward. (see below)] John says, “And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.”
1. And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.
This verse is a continuance of the revelation (prophecy) which began in chapter one with the “Vision of Christ among the Lampstands” —a vision in which God speaks directly to the Apostle John of the end times. The first thing we notice is that “there was [an intensely dramatic] silence in heaven [that lasted] about the space of half an hour.” The absolute stillness is even more dramatic and effective than the thunder and the lightning. This silence may have three meanings:
It may be a kind of breathing-space in the narrative, a moment of preparation before another shattering revelation comes.
There may be something much more beautiful in it. The prayers of the saints are about to go up to God; and it may be that the idea is that everything in heaven halts so that the prayers of the saints may be heard. Even the music of heaven and even the thunder of revelation are quiet so that God’s ear may catch the whispered prayer of the humblest of His trusting people (see introduction). However, most likely, this is the silence of breathless expectancy, as all of heaven waited for the hand of God to move. The psalmist had written, “Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes” (Psalm 37:7; NLT).
The hosts in heaven had just worshipped the Father and the Lamb with a tremendous volume of praise (Revelation 7:10-12). The scroll had now been opened completely, and perhaps even turned over; and all of heaven could see God’s glorious plan unfolding. Perhaps the heavenly hosts were simply awestruck at what they saw.
This verse connects the first two series of judgments. The silence in heaven is striking, considering the extraordinary activity and noise in the previous heavenly scenes. Silence in scripture indicates respect, submission, and anticipation (Habakkuk 2:20; Zechariah 2:13; 1 Corinthians 14:34). This particular silence is, according to one commentator, “silence before the great storm of God’s wrath.” The seventh seal has no features of its own. Rather, it contains and serves to introduce the trumpet judgments.