Revelation 8:1–5 (ESV)
The Seventh Seal and the Golden Censer
8 When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2 Then I saw the seven angels who stand
before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. 3 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, 4 and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel. 5 Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and
threw it on the earth, and there were peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.
After finishing his vision of the seven seals being broken, John transitions
to another vision, which depicts the end times with successive trumpet blasts. The visions are frightful, since we all know in our hearts that we cannot stand before God in the judgment. Fortunately, we have one who stands beside us as our advocate—Jesus
Christ—celebrated in chs 4–5. His blood cleanses us from all unrighteousness.
I pray: “Bold shall I stand in that great day, Cleansed and redeemed,
no debt to pay; Fully absolved through these I am From sin and fear, from guilt and shame.” Amen. (LSB 563:2)
Edward A. Engelbrecht,
The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 2213.