Revelation 8

Today’s reading is Revelation 8.

When the seventh seal is opened, we are reminded of the fifth seal. There we saw the saints beneath the altar praying for God to take vengeance on the enemies who had slaughtered them. When this seventh seal is opened, this image is called to mind again and seven trumpets are given to seven angels. As those trumpets were being handed out, an angel offered incense on the altar alongside and mingled with the prayers of the saints. Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth. As the angels blow their trumpets, we see the prayers of the saints being granted in part as God allows partial judgment to come upon the earth. Of course, all of this is telling of a time long past. However, what we can learn from this is that even in our extreme suffering and pain, God does listen to our requests. He may not respond in our timetable or with exactly what we have asked for or want. However, He always does what is right. He always does what will most benefit us and most glorify Him. In these partial judgments, He is giving response to the prayers of the saints and yet, at the same time, seeking the salvation of others. What a glory that will be for Him if those who were persecutors become saints. Keep praying. God is listening. He is responding in the best way possible even if we can’t tell it right now. And He is seeking the salvation of as many as will come just as He patiently sought your salvation. Praise God!

 A Word for Our Kids

Hey kids, I have no doubt the pictures in today’s reading are very confusing. However, I hope you are keeping up with the reading anyway. Remember, everything in this book is about the fact that no matter what it looks like in the moment, God really is winning. In the previous seals, Jesus went forth to conquer, but it sure seemed like things weren’t going His way. However, in the sixth seal, we see the judgment that came on those who persecuted the saints and how the persecutors couldn’t escape. As the seventh seal is broken and the seven trumpets are blown, the prayers of the saints and God’s response that were alluded to in the fifth seal are amplified. We see that while God had told them to be patient, He was still working to judge the enemies and yet attempting to save them at the same time. God hears our prayers. He responds to them. Keep reading. Keep praying. I promise you, it will be worth it.

Edwin Crozier