August 15th Silence in Heaven


Reading Revelation 8:1-13

Chapter 8 and some of the following chapters deal with what happens as Jesus opens the seventh seal. The first part of this chapter is encouragement for the church. Their prayers are heard and are precious.

There is silence in heaven for half an hour. (1) This is an incredibly awesome thing. Through all eternity there has been worship, praises and hymns sung around the throne of God, Angels moving back and forth saying, “Holy Holy Holy” (Isaiah 6:3). And now, at this climatic moment, as Jesus opens the seventh seal, there is silence.

The silence allows God to hear prayers of the saints. I love the imagery here. The prayers of the saints are a beautiful incense. Incense is a perfume that is burned. According to the Guinness Book of Records, the most expensive perfume ever produced was by British fashion designer Clive Christian. The bottles are even decorated with a five-carat diamond on their lid; the very limited edition scent was sold in 2007 for a whopping £185,000 a bottle. It was called ‘Imperial Majesty’.

To God our prayers are more precious, of greater value than even an ocean of ‘Imperial Majesty.’ God loves it when we pray, it is the most fragrant, beautiful and exquisite thing in existence. He hears our prayers and cherishes every one of them. In chapter 5 we saw that the prayers of Christians have been gathered up in golden bowls, each one lovingly and carefully stockpiled for that perfect moment for God to act with thunder, lightning and an earthquake. (5)

In Eugene Peterson’s book on Revelation, ‘Reversed Thunder’, he writes,

We live in a noisy world. We are yelled at, promoted, called. Everyone has an urgent message for us. We are surrounded with noise: telephone, radio, television, stereo. Messages are amplified deafeningly. The world is a mob in which everyone is talking at once and no one is willing or able to listen. But God listens. He not only speaks to us, he listens to us. His listening to us is an even greater marvel than his speaking to us. It is rare to find anyone who listens carefully and thoroughly. It is rare to find our stammering understood, our clumsy speech deciphered, our garbled syntax unraveled, sorted out and heard every syllable attended to, every nuance comprehended. Our minds are taken seriously. Our feelings are taking seriously. When it happens we know that what we say and feel are immensely important. We acquire dignity. We never know how well we think or speak until we find someone who listens to us.”

Jesus says,

“When you pray, say:
‘Father,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
And lead us not into temptation.’” (Luke 11:2-4)

For memorisation

“The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand.” (Revelation 8:4)

Prayer

Father, you are holy, beautiful and worthy of my praise. I can barely believe that you long to hear my prayers. Thank you, that you who made the ear, hears. Thank you that you know how to give good gifts to your children. Lord would you give me a great desire for prayer and time with you. May I long to see you face to face as Moses did. In Jesus name. Amen

Comments:

  • The Dudemaster says:

    Thank you for interpreting this for us Andy especially yesterday’s reading.

    I still don’t get the bit about the trumpets yet (v 6-13) but I am hoping that will come out tomorrow.

  • Nick Mountford says:

    Thinking about God storing up our prayers in big bowls makes me think about the justice of God as well as his mercy. Answered prayers clearly show God’s mercy to us, undeserving as we are. But that he stores them up for the point when he brings his wrath on the world – the point when he acts to bring judgement on the world for the way they have treated his people! This sounds to me like building a legal case, accumulating witness statements before bringing his judgement. This is something I had never thought of before and has still got me thinking. Thanks Andy.

  • Rachel Prentice says:

    What a great encouragement to know that God doesn’t listen to us because He must but because He really wants to. Many times my prayers feel as if they hit the ceiling and bounce back, but it took time for me to realise that God is everywhere so He still hears them. Yes it is hard to believe. And sometimes it takes a lot of faith to believe the unbelievable. Thanks for bringing so much from Revelation, I now can look at it so differently.



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