Pleasing Worship to God – Revelation 5:8

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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At the Christian university I attended to prepare for the ministry, the primary means of communication between the men and women was letters gathered from and delivered to each dorm every night. When a date was arranged on campus, it was common for the ladies to be dressed nicely and wear a tasteful amount of perfume. That evening, letters were exchanged thanking one another for the time together, and if the lady was particularly interested, she would often spray the envelope with perfume. The sweet smell of that fragrance was a pleasing sign that would linger and remind the men of the one who sent it.

When the Apostle John describes the worthiness of the Lord Jesus Christ on His throne in heaven in Revelation Chapter Five, praise and worship are given to Him. The twenty-four elders fall down before Him having “golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of the saints” (vs. 8). This description has a connection to Israel’s worship of the Lord in the tabernacle where they were to “make an altar to burn incense upon” (Exodus 30:1). “And Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense every morning; when he dresseth the lamps” and likewise “at even[ing], he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations” (vss. 7-8). The chief ingredient of this incense was frankincense, which along with other spices, produced a perfume that was to accompany Israel when they came to meet with the Lord (Exodus 30:34-36). David gives us further insight into this practice when he writes, “Lord, I cry unto thee… let my prayer be set forth before Thee as incense” (Psalm 141:1-2). We see in these descriptions that God views the worship of His saints, through prayer, as a sweet-smelling incense, or perfume, that is to be offered every day, morning and evening, as a perpetual practice. It is noteworthy that the record of heavenly worship in Revelation 5:8 also includes the “prayers of the saints” being offered in golden vials, (gold always symbolizes great value), and that this is viewed by the Lord as a sweet odor.

The lesson to remember from these verses is that prayer is an important part of worship that pleases the Lord and is to be the constant practice of the saints. This basic principle is true even today. Make prayer a vital part of your daily walk with the Lord Jesus Christ. It will please the Lord like a sweet perfume.

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."