Amos 7 opens with a conversation…Amos is pleading for God to show mercy and withhold judgment from Israel. Amos seems to make headway as God relents twice, but then God shows Amos a third vision which reveals how far Israel has fallen away from the “plumb-line of God’s law.” When Amos sees the depravity of Israel as compared to the holiness of God, he stops pleading. Amos knows that there is nothing that can avert God’s judgment.
“The end has come upon my people Israel;
I will never again pass by them.
The songs of the temple shall become wailings in that day,”
declares the Lord God.
“So many dead bodies!”
“They are thrown everywhere!”
“Silence!” (Amos 8:2-3)
God’s judgment on Israel through the Assyrian army is a precursor of His judgment to come in the final day. This final judgment is depicted in the opening of the 7th and final seal in Revelation 8.
There is silence before the opening of the final seal and the final judgment of the earth. In this silence, the prayers of all the church, both living and before the throne of God are received by God. And He answers the prayers of the saints…their prayers for relief, for comfort, for justice, for help, for vindication, for salvation with the opening of the final seal when fire from God’s altar is thrown upon the earth in the absolute, final judgment.
John’s vision then moves to watch seven angels herald seven trumpets. The trumpets are essentially a repeating of the same judgment described in the seven seals, but according to P. Gardner, the trumpets describe the judgment from the perspective of the unbeliever. The trumpet is used as a symbol of judgment and the final coming of Christ throughout Scripture, so “this helps us understand this trumpet sound that issues from the seven angels. God is declaring holy war on Satan and those who follow him. He summons people to repentance, and announces the final judgment day and the coming of Christ.” (P. Gardner, Revelation, pg, 127).
The plagues of Egypt form the backdrop for the seven trumpets – further supporting the position that the trumpets are from the perspective of the unbeliever. With the plagues in mind, we must remember that God preserved the Israelites through the plagues. And so he will preserve His church through the tribulations of these last days!
Also important to note is that the devastation brought by the heralding trumpets is limited to “one-third.” God restrains his wrath so that all are given an opportunity to repent!! For… His judgment is revealed in the context of His faithfulness to redeem his people.
We see this at the end of Amos…after God judges Israel, he promises to preserve a remnant and restore “the booth of David” (Amos 9:11-12). And then God describes a future where His people will enjoy a land that is fruitful beyond imagination (Amos 9:13-15). He describes our future in the New Heaven and the New Earth!!