“When the Lamb broke the seventh seal on the scroll, there was silence throughout heaven for about half an hour.” Revelation 8:1
When Jesus broke the seventh seal a unique response occurred—silence. A review of the visions up to this point makes it clear that John had heard much noise in heaven. Beginning in Revelation 4, “sounds and peals of thunder” emanated from God’s throne, (verse 5) and “the four living creatures did not cease to say, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come’” (verse 8). Later John heard a “strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?”, the cries of the martyrs for vengeance (6:9–10), the loud roar of a powerful earthquake (6:12), and an angel who “cried out, saying, ‘Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads” (7:2–3). But after all that loudness, when the judgment becomes visible on the scroll, both the redeemed and the angels are reduced to silence. They face the reality of the future destruction they see written and answer with the silence of foreboding and awe at what God is about to do. The judgments that lead up to the close of the tribulation are now visible in the scroll and are so severe that a solemn silence falls upon all of heaven. The judgment of God is going to be so terrible that even the angels were silent. As I write this, I feel such a burden that we must tell others about the saving grace of Jesus Christ. I never feel that I do enough to rescue others from the judgment of God.