Rev. 5:8 – When He took the scroll, the four living creatures and the 24 elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
God ought to be a force--maybe pure energy, impersonal . . . something so vast, incomprehensible and unlike anything we see or know or conceive of. . . . Or perhaps He is like a massive translucent insect, alien looking with nothing like emotion that we could understand . . . or a 10 dimensional all-knowing cube so far beyond our understanding that nothing in our physical world is anything like Him. We shouldn't even try to relate to Him . . . and shouldn't even call Him a "Him", for that denotes gender. Instead, "It" must be unspeakable, for who are we to come close to imagining and suggesting what such an infinite, transcendent "being" would be like. . . . It must be the height of arrogance attempting to apply any descriptors --for how dare we think that the One Who created all things is in any similar to . . . what looks to be like not much more than a highly evolved ape driven by passions, instinct and brute chemicals interacting within a brain?
At best, we can have a vague, loosely held broad conception of there being something--some ubiquitous power or force, beyond space, outside of time, inscrutable, undefinable, ultra-exotic and far remote. . . .
. . . . . . . . But . . . why? Why do we think that He is probably like that? Or, rather, why does the skeptic, the unbeliever, the conceited tinkerer . . . predictably insist on such a view?
Of all the possibilities . . . is there really any better reason why it can't simply be . . . that God is a personal being?
How about we start first . . . with what God actually IS and how He describes and shows Himself TO BE?
We think, "there aren't really 'gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of saints'" in Heaven. . . . Surely this is metaphor, allegory. . . ."
But what if there are? What if it just happens to BE . . . that God--Who is self-existent, eternal, always was and always will be . . . that the foundation and creator of everything IS a person . . . Who . . . "sits on a throne of holiness" . . . and that the reason we have things like bowls and incense and gold is because we, being created "in His image", tend to imitate, in a our own small ways, what He is like and does?
You see, if we start with what God always and already was and is, then it is not odd or presuming to accept that He is indeed somewhat like "the old man in the sky" . . . and that it happens to be that He is a Being with "passions", qualities such as what we call "holiness", "love", "justness", "righteousness" . . . and these are subsequently reflected in us.
But if you start from the "outside", in unbelief, you project onto "reality" random, unfounded imaginations of what and how God "ought" to be, presuming, for some (inane) reason that "certainly He/It must be something totally unlike anything we can relate to!"
I think . . . however . . . that it might very well be the case . . . that there are gold bowls in Heaven filled with incense, which are the prayers of the saints! Why not? Why shouldn't there be?
It is actually our small-minded pride and vanity . . . and at the root of it our "natural" enmity towards God . . . that impels us to reject so many of the plain and precious revelations of His Word, presuming to know better. . . .