God responds to prayers for deliverance with anticipations of the ultimate judgment of the Last Day.
I. THE PRAYERS OF THE SAINTS (VV. 1-4; CF. Zephaniah 1:7; Zechariah 2:13)
A. Silence in Heaven (vv. 1-2)
B. The Prayers and the Golden Censer (vv. 3-4)
II. THE ANSWER TO THE PRAYERS (VV. 5-13)
A. Fire from Heaven (v. 5)
B. The Four Trumpets (vv. 6-12)
1. Land (v. 7)
2. Sea (vv. 8-9)
3. Fresh Waters (vv. 10-11)
4. Heavens (v. 12)
C. Creation Reversed (cf. Genesis 1)
III. THE PURPOSE OF TRUMPETS
A. Warning of Coming Judgment
B. Hearing the Trumpets
C. The God Who Reverses Judgment (Exodus 15:22-27)
D. Remembering the Tree of Healing
1. Monday—What does the silence in heaven signal? (v. 1) What is God getting ready to do?
2. Tuesday—Why are these judgments that God pours out called “trumpets”? What were trumpets used for in the ancient world?
3. Wednesday—How do the first four trumpets relate to the days of creation in Genesis 1? In what ways does God’s judgment un-do creation?
4. Thursday—Are non-Christians the only ones who need to hear the warnings of God? Why are we tempted to silence God’s warnings and convince ourselves that there is nothing wrong the world that we can’t fix?
5. Friday—What does it mean that God makes bitter waters sweet again? How does he do this? Why is it important to remember that God did that for those who were already believers?