There is one last correlation that almost certainly would have come to mind for John’s audience—the Exodus.
All of us have experienced being in the desert places. Perhaps that is where you are right now. What act of repentance is God calling of you in order to make you ready for the outpouring of God’s Spirit in your desert place to bring back life?
Our real crisis is always going to be about faith, about being more impressed with human plans, human ingenuity, and human control rather than God’s wisdom, God’s character, God’s promises, and God’s will.
The tremendous power in the prayers of the holy ones was also revealed to John. You and I think of that power as reaching up to God and the Lord responding in divine might. But this time, John watched as these sacred prayers were thrown forcefully back to earth in a startling reversal of how prayer has ever been viewed.
There is something of a dream quality to John’s narration, as though he were himself enrapt in the incense.
In order to understand what faith is, you and I have to actually use it. A person does not really have faith until that person lives it out, boots on the ground, real life, real dilemmas, real crises.
This was the strange way God was going to inspire their faith, and often, it is the strange way God brings you and me back to center as well.
The four basic scholarly frames of reference will layer well with historical insight and scriptural overlay while leaving room for the possibility that John’s prophetic oracles have yet to be (completely) fulfilled.
It is one of the more mysterious and intriguing verses in John’s account.
This book had me at the title and never let go until I had read the last page