The Seventh Seal and the Golden CenserRevelation 8:1-5
Shock & Awe!
2 And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.We've finally come to the opening of the seventh seal. In previous seals, Jesus opened them and all the inhabitants of Heaven, along with the Apostle John, who was just visiting saw what was contained in the seal. Something's different about this one. When it's opened, there is absolute silence for about a half an hour.
3 Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar in front of the throne. 4 The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand. 5 Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.
They were in shock & awe. Why? I read ahead in the chapter and the events that are about to unfold upon the earth next nearly took my breath away!
Seven angels are given seven trumpets. One might think that they're about to give a lovely concert, but one would be very wrong! Just before the angels step up to blow their trumpets, another angel comes forward and offers burning incense before the throne, which is mixed with the prayers of all God's people. We've seen this before - our prayers coming up before the Lord. Does that thrill you the way it does me? Sometimes we wonder if our prayers are going anywhere. They just seem to bounce off the ceiling, but that's not how it is. Each whispered prayer, each cry of the heart, goes up before God. He hears them, He sees them, He is touched by them. Keep praying, my friend. We have no idea what has been changed because we prayed.
Then the angel fills the censer with fire from the altar and hurls it to the earth, setting off peals of thunder, rumblings and flashes of lightning and an earthquake to end all earthquakes. The first angel steps up and prepares to blow their trumpet. You won't believe what happens next.
Now, don't read ahead...ah, go ahead if you want, but come back here for the next post so we can walk through these seven trumpets together.
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