January 7, 2014 by Chris French
It’s loud in Heaven.
There has been a voice like a trumpet (Rev. 4.1), flashes of lightning and peals of
thunder coming from God’s throne (Rev. 4.5), singing from the four living creatures (Rev. 4.8), the voices of the 24 elders falling before God’s throne and worshiping (Rev. 4.10) and the sound of their crowns clattering toward the throne (Rev. 4.11). There have been loud voices (Rev. 5.1), loud weeping (Rev. 5.4), talking, singing, harps, the voices of thousands of angels, and all the voices that are in Heaven, on earth and under the earth speaking at the same time and that’s just Revelation 4-5. If you read all the way to Revelation 8 you’ll also find horses thundering, all the saved from every generation praising God, cries, and an earthquake. From the description John gives us of Heaven we get the impression that it’s very loud. People cry out with loud voices, the saved sing loudly, the lost weep
loudly, the thunder is loud and the earthquake is loud. Put yourself in John’s shoes. Try to experience what he’s experiencing. You’re seeing all these amazing sights and hearing all this noise. It’s overwhelming. You’re trying to record everything that’s going on, but you’re having problems keeping up because everything is happening so fast. You’re overwhelmed. Now you see the Lamb open the seventh seal and all that noise and all the action stops…what’s about to happen?
You watch as an angel approaches the altar in Heaven. He’s holding a golden censer. Inside the censor is a lot of incense and he’s burning it in worship to God just like the Jews used to. The smoke from the incense is the vehicle the Christian’s prayers are using to ride up to God’s throne. Everything is silent as God leans forward from His throne and listens to the prayers of the saints. Afterward the noise and the frenzied actions resume and your continue your furious writing, but if you’re John those 30 minutes of absolute silence as God listened to the persecuted Christians prayers sticks with you.
God silenced Heaven so He could listen to what His children were saying. Is He hard of hearing? Of course not! He doesn’t have to quiet anything to hear even the faintest whisper from the quietest voice. So why include the silence? I think He included this tidbit to show us how seriously He takes our prayers. There are majestic and powerful beings praising God, but you can almost see Him patting the air and shushing them as He leans in to listen as one of His people begins a prayer. You have God’s full attention. He’s not distracted. In fact, yours is the only voice He hears. Does that change the way you pray? You may have been shut down, ignored or devalued by the people around you, but the God of the Universe stops all the commotion in Heaven to listen to your concerns.