They employ large numbers of technicians to design and put together as spectacular a stage show as possible. Lights, lasers, smoke, pyrotechnics, huge video screens, theatrical props. The bigger, apparently, the better.
Revelation 4 and 5 is the Apostle John struggling to find words to express the privileged glimpse he is given of God’s throne in heaven. The most extravagant of human concerts is instantly dwarfed. Words like awesome and spectacular quickly become redundant. John is overwhelmed.
The Creator sits in authority over all he has made. His appearance is exquisite like precious stones, His surroundings intimidating in their magnificence. A scroll revealing and initiating His judgements in holiness and grace upon humankind can only be opened by the royal ‘Lion of Judah’. Expecting a powerful predator we see instead a sacrificial Lamb, slain yet living, obviously representing Jesus.
Four ‘living creatures’ representing all creation and twenty four elders representing all God’s people from both Old and New Testaments (12 tribes of Israel and 12 Apostles) give constant worship to ‘Him Who sits on the throne and to the Lamb’.
In 5v8 we read this detail:
‘Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.’
‘Saints’ in the original new Testament context means simply ‘those called to be holy’, ie God’s people, all Christians. Incense is used in various religions to symbolise prayer, the sweet-smelling smoke rising like an offering to please the higher power.
We are heard. There will be answers. The closing pages of this book picture evil ended and righteous harmony restored with God Himself wiping every tear from His children’s eyes.
Let us offer up in prayer our concerns and the desires of our hearts then, seeking always the coming of His kingdom, with praise and thanksgiving and renewed confidence, for in Christ we have a great and effective ‘High Priest’ Who brings our requests to God.
Our prayers matter to the Lord. So let us pray!