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Shush Up!

Daily Reading: Revelation 8-9

Scripture Focus: And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne. (Revelation 8.3)

Devotional Thought: "Shush up!" That euphemism is popular when we have taught our children not to use the words "shut up." I like it! As a matter of fact, I think maybe the Lord used it or something like it in Revelation 8. Chapter 7 concludes with a scene of highest praise. Then something unexpected happens. The Lamb opens the seventh seal, and "there was silence in heaven for about half an hour." In the midst of boisterous and excited praise, silence spreads across the heavenly landscape. It's as if the Lord said, "Shush up!"

Why? Why did the Lord shush up the heavenly praise rally?

The silence is explained in verse 3, when another angel came and offered up the prayers of all the saints. Heaven was shushed so that our prayers could be heard. Is that not amazing? At that moment at least, our needs were of greater concern than were the hymns of heaven. When you pray, remember that. Your prayers are being offered before the throne of God as an offering of incense.

The angel was standing "at the altar with a golden censer." There is only one altar in heaven. It is the altar of incense. No longer is the brazen altar of sacrifice needed. Christ has provided the perfect sacrifice for sins. Now it is our prayers that are offered in sacrifice - fulfilling the sufferings of Christ! (Colossians 1.24)

Prayer: Lord, with the Psalmist (Psalm 141.2) I pray, "Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!" Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 1 Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! 2 Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! 3 Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! 5 For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations. (Psalms 100:1-5)

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