As we read the unfolding visions in Revelation it appears that their sequence reveals different aspects of the march of human history as humanity avoids their responsibility to their Creator and the Saviour He provided. These different aspects climax in the time when “the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone … (say)… hide us … from (God) … and the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?” (6:15-17).
That is the key question – “who can stand?” When the systems of life on earth are failing only those who truly know God and the Lamb will be preserved. The rest will experience the divine wrath on a godless world.
But note how in chapter 5 there is reference to “golden bowls full of incense which are the prayers of the saints” (verse 8). The elders who hold the bowls sing “a new song” to the Lamb (verse 6) that has now appeared on the scene – and how wonderful are the words they sing.
“Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom of priests to our God, and they shall reign on earth” (verses 9,10). May we so live now that we are among the “ransomed people”.
In 1 Samuel 2 we read Hannah’s prayer of thanksgiving for her child Samuel. It ends with heartfelt words, “He [God] will guard the feet of his faithful ones … The adversaries of the LORD are broken to pieces; against them he will thunder in heaven. The LORD will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king and exalt the power of his anointed” (verses 9,10). Hannah was obviously a spiritually perceptive person! May we have the same spirit – a regular reading of God’s words are essential for this!
Her prayer (and ours?) is about to have its final and complete fulfilment as are the other prayers that are counted as incense in “the golden bowls”. Make sure yours are among them so that you “can stand” on that “great day”.