The seventh seal opened
Rev 8:1 And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.
The seventh seal is opened. What is next? Many questions, but there is silence in heaven above. The space of silence was a half an hour. Silence speaks loudly, it is a time to reflect, to think, to examine our hearts.
Job experienced a time of silence.
Job 4:13 In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth on men,
Job 4:14 Fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones to shake.
Job 4:15 Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up:
Job 4:16 It stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof: an image was before mine eyes, there was silence, and I heard a voice, saying,
Job 4:17 Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker?
Job 4:18 Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly:
Job 4:19 How much less in them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, which are crushed before the moth?
Job 4:20 They are destroyed from morning to evening: they perish for ever without any regarding it.
Job 4:21 Doth not their excellency which is in them go away? they die, even without wisdom.
Silence can be filled with our undoing, especially in the presence of Almighty God.
Psa 50:3 Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.
It was silent in heaven.
Psa 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
The seventh seal was opened.
Rev 8:2 And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.
Seven angels and seven trumpets to proclaim a message from heaven, or a sound for battle.
Rev 8:3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
Rev 8:4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand.
A censor with incense was to burn at the altar of God. Here it is referred to as the prayers of the saints. They are a pleasant offering to God.
1 Th 5:17 Pray without ceasing.
1 Th 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Rev 8:5 And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.
The opening of the seventh seal began the final events, beginning with the wrath of God being poured out upon the earth and those who refused to obey God. Before this God stopped the angels from hurting the earth until 144,000 Jews were sealed. These would not be hurt by the things God would send upon the earth. We have the antichrist destroying and now God comes to destroy the work of the devil and to judge the earth with his wrath. It is a time of great tribulation.
There were voices, Greek word phone, pronounced fo-nay. Sounds, as instruments, perhaps trumpets or voices. Jesus' voice was as a sound of a trumpet. (Rev 1:10)
There were thunderings and lightnings and earthquakes. These certainly would draw attention, yet more was to come, this was only the beginning.