The Beginning, Part 4
Revelation 5:5-10 (NKJV)
One of my top 100 scriptures is found secretly tucked away in a Revelation 5. No one had ever told me about this scripture. I didn’t study it in Seminary. But the first day I read it, the sky opened and the Spirit descended on those words. They opened like a beautiful flower and the letters on the page stood out.
We read in Revelation 5:1-7, “And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals. Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?” And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it. So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it. But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.”
“And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth. Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.”
There was a scroll that had seven seals.
An angel asked who was worthy to open the scroll.
There was weeping because it seemed no one was able to open the scroll. BUT an elder said the Lion of the tribe of Judah “has prevailed” as victorious to open the scroll.
Then there were four living creatures and the elders with a lamb that looked like it had been slain.
It had seven horns and seven eyes and we learn those are the seven Spirits of God sent out to the earth.
The Lamb (the only one who could open the 7 seals on the scroll) took the scroll from God.
We wonder what was written on the scroll? We know it was sacred, but nothing in Revelation suggests what it said. According to theologian William Barclays, “The best solution is to see the scroll as “God’s will, his final settlement of the affairs of the universe.” (https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/revelation-5/)
Then we read in Revelation 5:8, “Worthy Is the Lamb, Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.”
That’s the line that stopped me dead in my tracks. That’s when the Spirit pressed in and the flower opened up.
There were four living creatures and 24 Elders who each had a harp and GOLDEN BOWLS OF INCENSE “which are the prayers of all the saints.”
Now, I am NO saint and I know it. Especially in my younger years I’ve been known to have an instant nasty temper and a bit of a propensity to want what I want when I want it. (And, trust me, that list is in no way comprehensive). My four kids (who know me better than anyone else on the planet) will say it’s true.
Even though I am not a saint, every prayer I’ve spoken goes into the golden bowl and is made into incense.
Every prayer YOU have ever said goes into the golden bowl.
When I first read it I wondered if even my angry stupid prayers were in the golden bowl. I’d have to say as I read it, “yes” they are in there as well for God knew my pain and the motivation of my heart.
Since the day when I first read Revelation 5:8, every time I pray and every prayer I speak I’ve had a sense has gone into the golden bowl. Those prayers will stay there forever.
So, why and how can someone as flawed as me (and you) be allowed to have prayers in the Golden Bowl?
We learn that after the incense of the golden bowls was revealed, Revelation 5:9-10 says,
“And they sang a new song, saying:
“You are worthy to take the scroll,
And to open its seals;
For You were slain,
And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
And have made us kings and priests to our God;
And we shall reign on the earth.”
Because of the sacrifice of the Lamb we are priests and kings. It doesn’t matter that my prayers can be selfish and self-centered. What matters is that I (we) have been redeemed by the lamb.
We are priests and kings.
From the beginning that was the plan. God created us to be included. Granted, after the Fall (Genesis 3) a lot has happened but God made a way for us (and our prayers) to be included.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Say a Prayer
Say at least one prayer today. Visualize that prayer going into the golden bowl and being burned into incense that goes straight to the nostrils of God. God receives and breathes the very prayers you offered.
In God, Deborah