Useful Bible Studies > Revelation Commentary > chapter 8

Prayers and judgements

Revelation 8:3-5

The future rule of Christ upon this earth is certain. The judgements that must happen first are also certain. So you may not think that, at such a time as this, the prayers of Godís people matter. However in Godís opinion, those prayers matter very much.

Soon, we shall read about terrible judgements upon the earth. However, first God listens to the prayers of his people. He considers those prayers beautiful, like incense (Psalm 141:2). Incense is a substance that burns with a sweet smell. The priests burned a special incense in one of the daily ceremonies inside the temple (Godís house) in Jerusalem (Exodus 30:34-38; Exodus 30:7-10). In heaven, the prayers with the incense rose up to God.

In the temple, the gold altar was the place where the priests burned incense. Hebrews 8:5 tells us that the temple on earth was a copy of the real one in heaven. However, even on earth, the fire on that altar was very holy. In Leviticus 10:1-2 and Numbers 16:35, that fire killed people who were acting in an unholy manner. On the other hand, in Isaiah 6:6-7, the fire made Isaiah holy; it took away his sins (evil deeds).

Here, the fire acted in judgement against the earth. It shook the ground and it caused a storm.

Godís people do not normally pray for judgements to happen. However, that may be the effect of their prayers. For example, they pray that Christ will return soon (22:20). They pray for Godís kingdom to come, in other words, for Godís rule to begin on earth (Matthew 6:10). These things can only happen when God acts in judgement against the evil forces, systems and rulers in this world.

Next part: The first trumpet: a storm destroys a third of the earth (Revelation 8:6-7)


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© 2016, Keith Simons.