Meditation Mondays: Revelation 8:1-6: God is just.
8 When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2 And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. 3 Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand. 5 Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake.
6 So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
As we continue to slowly work through this book, we must not forget that John writes about things that to the recipients of the letter (the local churches) 'must soon take place' (Rev. 1:1; 3; 22:6; 10).
Today what we are observing is truly a prelude to the seven trumpets being blown by the seven angels. The Lamb who is Christ opens the seventh and final seal.
Now before the trumpets are blown, there is silence as an angel presents the prayers of the saints (the martyrs in Rev 6:10-11) before the golden altar. Those prayers ascend from the hand of the angel before God. Now, I think that this angel is Christ. The Scripture tells us elsewhere that Christ intercedes for us (Rom. 8:34). If this is the case, it is Christ that opens the last seal, and it is Christ that brings the prayers of the martyrs before God during the half-hour of silence.
Now if you remember, the prayer of the martyrs is a prayer for justice:
10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” (Rev. 6:10 NKJV emphasis mine)
Now, we see how those prayers are answered: judgment.
5 Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake.
6 So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. (Revelation 8:5-6 NKJV).
This is Old Testament judgement language (Ex 19:16; 2 Sam 22:8)
The prayers of the saints presented by Christ in the silence are followed by judgment. And this judgment brings us to God pouring his wrath out on unbelieving Jerusalem who persecuted and killed God's people.
God is faithful and just.