Hi Everyone, I felt impressed to focus on Revelation for our next batch of devotional blogs. Since I’ve presented on the Seven Churches in Revelation 1-3 in previous posts and sermons, I’ll start with Revelation 4 and 5. God bless!
Revelation 4:1-5: “After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.” Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads. And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.”
We’ll look at Revelation in this series by comparing this imagery and themes with the rest of Scripture, especially Christ’s life, and also find clues to how the prophecies in Revelation mirror historical events. This phase of John’s visions and messages to the church of then and today starts with an open door. This is his entrance into the first scene. (We’ll soon see that Revelation tends to follow this pattern of moving from scene to scene like a story) John is overwhelmed with the spectacular appearance of God seated on His throne in the heavenly court room. His glory hits home even more powerfully as the 24 elders, who also serve in this heavenly judgment hall, and four living creatures bow in reverence. God is clearly the Judge. Even though the visual description is awe-inspiring, the biggest reason for praising and worshiping God comes in verse 9-11: “Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: “You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.”
God is worthy of our worship because He is the Creator. Unfortunately, our society usually refers to a very different story when the question of origins comes up. The secular tale of our beginnings is all about random processes—energy and particles coalescing in stages until they form the basic building blocks of matter and eventually life. Revelation, however, presents a beautiful, much more powerful story—God’s design. Our world is full of purposeful design that also gives us meaningful future if we choose it. This account of our origins, which is also presented in Genesis 1, 2, also tells us that we’re subjects of an All-Powerful Sovereign. Creation matters because it’s the reason for true worship and it shows us our responsibility to our Heavenly King. We can honor God by surrendering to His authority and allowing His grace to change us each day (we’ll cover more of this in our later posts). Ellen White puts it this way: “Will you give back to God that which He has ransomed with the price of His own blood? Will you give Him your reasoning powers; will you set them apart for His glory? They are His; He has bought them with a price. Will you place yourselves in the school of Christ, that your conscience may be enlightened, that it may be a good conscience, a faithful sentinel to guard the highest interests of the soul? Christ has purchased the affections; will you trifle with them, will you pervert them? Will you place them upon unworthy objects, center them upon human beings and make the creature instead of the Creator your God to worship? Or shall your affections be purified, ennobled, refined, and made to twine about your Creator and Redeemer? ...” (Ellen White, That I May Know Him, page 63)