Reading a book like Revelation can leave one overwhelmed by the relentless onslaught of God’s wrath. Chapter after chapter devastating destruction pours from God’s throne. It is grievous and wearying. Will it ever stop? Will God’s wrath relent? Will suffering cease?
All the pain, sorrow suffering, and evil in the world cause the godly to long for God to intervene. A day is coming when He will break His silence, a day when all the purposes of God concerning men and the world will be consummated.At that time, the Lord Jesus Christ will return and establish His earthly kingdom. He will rule righteously with “a rod of iron” (Ps. 2:9),and “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:9). All the atheists, agnostics, and scoffers who mocked the thought that Christ would return (2 Pet. 3:3-4) will be silenced.The millennia of sin, lies, murders, thefts, wars, and the persecution and martyrdom of Gods people will be over Satan and his demon hosts will be bound and cast into the abyss for a thousand years (Rev 20:1-3), unable any longer to tempt, torment, or accuse believers. The desert will become a blossoming garden (cf. Isa. 35:1; 51:3; Ezek. 36:34-35), people will live long lives (Isa. 65:20), and there will be peace between former enemies at all levels of society-and even in the animal kingdom (Isa. 11:6-8). The ravages of sin-broken hearts, broken relationships, broken marriages, broken families, broken dreams, broken people will be healed. Sorrow sadness, mourning, and pain will vanish like the morning mists before the noonday sun (cf. Rev. 7:17; 21:4).
The sounding of the seventh trumpet, which heralds the imminent return and reign of the Lord Jesus Christ, will usher in that long-anticipated day: “Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven,saying, ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever’” (11:15). The seventh trumpet will release the seven rapid-fire bowl judgments that immediately precede Christ’s return to earth (16:1-21).
But before the seventh trumpet sounds there will be an interlude, which stretches from 10:1 to 11:14, allowing John (and present-day readers) to pause and assimilate the startling truths that have just been revealed to him.The interlude between the sixth and seventh trumpets parallels such interludes in the seal and bowl judgments. Between the sixth and seventh seals came the interlude of chapter 7; between the sixth and seventh bowls comes the brief interlude of 16:15.These interludes encourage Gods people in the midst of the fury and horror of divine judgment, and remind them that God is still in sovereign control of all events. During the interludes God comforts His people with the knowledge that He has not forgotten them, and that they will ultimately be victorious.