Prayer is not only for you. This morning as you pray for this and that, you go through your list, remember what is happening is far more than your own small world. Your cries, tears for God to do something rises to a heavenly temple where they become very active. This is what we have already seen and now we see again confirmation of this.
“After this I looked, and I saw in heaven the temple—that is, the tabernacle of the covenant law—and it was opened. 6 Out of the temple came the seven angels with the seven plagues. They were dressed in clean, shining linen and wore golden sashes around their chests. 7 Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls filled with the wrath of God, who lives for ever and ever. 8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, and no one could enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed.” (Revelation 15 v 5-8)
These are not yet another set of judgments on a timeline but the same ones that John has seen before but from a different viewpoint. The 7 seals (6-8 were from the viewpoint of the suffering church); the 7 trumpets (8-11 from the viewpoint of the world) and now the 7 bowls are from the viewpoint of the heavenly Temple. We will read how they fall upon the same places: the earth, sea, rivers, sun, evil and the river Euphrates. The seventh is always the finale, the end, the coming of Christ.
The significance of the 7 bowls are that just like the seals (5:1-2) and the trumpets (8:2) they start from heaven’s temple. From what John describes as the tabernacle of the covenant law, the place of the stone tablets with the 10 commandments indicating the place of God’s creative order for His world, to live good lives in a place of evil. The tabernacle was also the place for the outpouring of the glory of God and John sees the heavenly smoke declaring just that. The angels look like priests of the temple and it indicates that the bowls of judgment are not from an explosion of temper but rather that of holiness, priestly, pure judgment.
But here is the point: the bowls. These bowls were filled with the prayers of God’s people (5:8) and are now filled with God’s judgment (15:7) throughout history as He has moved upon His world trying to bring us back to Him. This is the important link.
God is seeking intercessors throughout the generations to move forward His plans and purpose for the world. We need to keep on praying, longing for moves of God, for Him to come upon this earth, to fill the earth with His glory, come Lord come! That has been the prayer since Jesus left us throughout history. Perhaps we have had the 6th seal, the 6th trumpet and the 6th bowl already, perhaps we are just waiting for the number 7, maybe we are that close?! Just one final move of prayer from the intercessors could see what we have all been preaching and longing for: Jesus Christ!