The seven trumpets sound at the opening of the seventh and final seal.
They resound back through space and time as hope.
“Hope will not disappoint us,” and yet, all hope must disappoint us for a time.
Hope is ecstasy in eternity, but a painful ache in space and time.
In the 1980’s I hoped for a castle—Hearst Castle—on a mountain by the sea.
But of course, I didn’t ask. It was too much to ask, too much to hope.
As the first six trumpets sound, all manner of disasters take place.
They have happened, are happening, and will happen.
So why are they happening?
They’re happening in answer to our prayers at the opening of the seventh seal.
At the revelation of “everything good,” the atonement, Jubilee, and Jesus Himself—The Judgment of God; we prayed, “God Save.”
What does He save us from?
Not fire and earthquakes it would seem . . .
But, He does save people with earthquakes and, even, fire.
He saves us from the “present evil age,” the “dominion of darkness,” “the fear of death and lifelong bondage,” this “body of death,” our “sin,” which is our judgment. He saves us from “the evil one” and being “alone,” which is “not good.”
The Israelites blew the seven trumpets of jubilee and the walls of Jericho came tumbling down.
The Israelites were jubilant.
The Canaanites were not so jubilant, except for one Canaanite and those with her.
Rahab, the harlot, the great-grandmother of Jesus, was jubilant.
Why aren’t you jubilant when the walls come tumbling down? It could be “Stockholm syndrome.”
They say that Patty Hearst had Stockholm syndrome. “Stockholm syndrome is a condition that causes hostages to develop a psychological alliance with their captors as a survival strategy during captivity.”
The evil one is our captor. He has convinced humanity to hide from God and each other behind walls made of fig leaves, leather, tradition, stone, legislation, and human government.
The Commander of God’s Army, who is the Judgment of God, goes to war against all the walls to save us from our own judgment. His Body is literally dependent on the destruction of those walls.
At the seventh trumpet, the Ark of the Covenant, which is the Judgment Seat of God, is seen within the temple, which is the human soul. Hope is an empty place waiting to be filled with the river of Eternal Life that flows throughout all creation and the Body of Christ.
The walls are crumbling all around you. Listen to the trumpets.
Don’t give up hope. Hope will not disappoint you.
Hope is now preparing you to inherit all things.
And hope will keep you from “Stockholm Syndrome.”
Your captor wants to convince you that Heaven is Hell, and Hell is Heaven.
Your hopes are never too big, but always to small.
Discussion questions for this sermon are available here: Discussion Questions “Hope in a God Damned World”