Now, the seventh seal is opened. Silence for about a half hour (8:1). Reading carefully and slowly, just sort of weighing the words, there’s the sense that something important is about to happen. The terminology we use – “Wait for it, wait for it . . .” – seems apt at this point. Seven trumpets are about to be blown, but first there’s something important to take place. The angel offers on the altar incense mingled with the prayers of the saints, which rise up before God. I know God is spirit, and thus without physical form, but you just can’t help picturing him closing his eyes, tilting his head back, breathing in slowly, and contemplating and approving all that he senses. Sort of like, early in the morning, as the coffee first starts to brew, you just want to stand there for a moment and take it in.
That early morning coffee aroma is pretty special, and you want to enjoy it. And as it passes, you might even think, “Oh, I get to do this again tomorrow morning!” Think about it, that’s how precious our prayers are to God! He loves to hear our prayers. He receives them as a parent excitingly takes in the conversation from a child. Wow, when our children approach us on their own and just want to chat, that’s one of life’s most wonderful moments. And so it is with God. We ought to be encouraged by this scene to talk with him often!
How blessed is this place, O Lord,
Where Thou art worshiped and adored;
Our faith would here an altar raise
Unto Thy glory, God of praise!
And when these earthly Sabbaths cease,
O may our souls depart in peace,
Around Thy glorious throne to meet,
And find it, Lord, a mercy-seat! -- Ernest Edwin Ryden (1924)