The God Who Goes Away: The Mystery of the Seven Trumpets
This week I learned more about God while struggling over the mystery of the seven trumpets and the horrible things that happen when they sound. It is so simple, yet so hard to get into our thick skulls. Here it is, are you ready?
When God is not wanted….. he goes away!
Yeah, ok. So now he’ll quit bothering me? Oh no! God loves you. He does not want to leave you. But, he is the ultimate gentleman. He does not force anyone to follow him, or serve him, or love him. He gives everyone free choice. His whole kingdom is built on freedom. He knocks, and we can open the door… or not (Rev. 3:20).
But here’s the problem. God is the source of life and joy and happiness. He puts limits on evil – for a time. But when he leaves (because we don’t ask him to stay), beware! The devil can then pull out all the stops. Destruction, death, deception, torment, you name it. And to top it off, Satan’s favorite tactic is to then blame God for all the destruction, and we humans fall for it all the time.
Can we find this God who goes away in the Bible?
Jesus, who came to show us the Father, shows us clearly. One time, after he had healed two men who had demons, he sent the demons into some pigs – at the demon’s request. The people of the town were angry and begged him to leave. So, he did. He got into a boat and left (Matt. 8:34; 9:1). Another time when he had healed on the Sabbath, the Pharisees really wanted to get rid of him. They were plotting how to kill him and even picked up stones to throw at him. Did he fight back, or zap them with lightning? No, he hid himself and left the temple (Mark 3:6; John 8:59).
So here’s God’s dilemma. Most of the people on earth have rejected Him. Either they don’t think he exists or they don’t want him in their life. Then there are some so-called “christians” who say they want Jesus but don’t do what he asks, thus showing they don’t really believe or love him (John 14:15). I was one of those “christians” sorry to say. But there are a small group of people who really, truly do want God to stay. They follow him wherever he leads.
So what can he do on this earth – in general? Does he stay or does he go?
Ta-daa, enter the Seven Trumpets!
God sends his angels to blow the seven trumpets in answer to their prayers (Rev 8:3-6). With the trumpets comes the message, “I remember you! I will save you!” (Num. 10:8-9). “I will never leave you or forsake you!” (Matt. 28:20; Heb. 13:5). And as we will see later in Revelation he gives his people an important job to do as well – urging people to worship the true God who loves them because this world is going down (Rev. 14).
At the same time the trumpets are a warning and an answer to those who do not want God. God’s basically letting people see what happens when he begins to withdraw his protecting presence (Jer. 2:17, 19). Death, destruction, darkness, scorpions, torment, fire and brimstone (Rev. 8). God still doesn’t withdraw completely, he still longs for their repentance and to gather them under his wings and protect them (Rev. 8:20-21; Luke 13:34).
And yet, instead of repenting and coming back to God who is full of mercy and forgiveness and love, most of humanity repeats the sins of ancient Israel and blames God for the results of their own sins and turns away from God (Jer. 5:19, 25; Rev. 8:20, 21).
When you read the scary descriptions of the seven trumpets in Revelation chapters 8 & 9, remember that God loves you and wants to save you from your sins (Matt. 1:21; Ezek. 18:32). He wants to give you a new life full of joy for eternity (Ps. 16:11; Rom. 6:23). The scary things happening when these trumpets blow are a warning of what happens when God leaves, at our request. Have mercy!
Invite Jesus into your heart and life today. He has way better plans for you than that fire breathing dragon!