Reading the Word
Revelation 4:1–11 (ESV)
1 After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” 2 At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne. 3 And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald. 4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads. 5 From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God, 6 and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal. And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: 7 the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like an eagle in flight. 8 And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” 9 And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”
Understanding and Applying the Word
After writing to the seven churches in chapters two and three, John now shares a glimpse into the throne room of heaven. John gives us a picture of God seated on the throne with all of the heavenly court worshiping him. As they worship, they call out to the “Lord God Almighty”, which speaks to God’s sovereignty. They also praise God as the one who is “worthy to receive glory and honor and power” because he is the Creator of all things.
In short, this passage tells us that God is the sovereign Creator over all things. This is important because we have just finished reading about how the seven churches are facing persecution in the world and things are not easy for them. Here, John encourages his readers to remember who is truly in control: God.
It may sometimes seem like all hope is lost. We may have a difficult family situation or we may be discouraged by how things are going in the world. But let us be encouraged knowing that our God is seated on the throne. He is the Creator and all things belong to him. For this reason, we always have hope.
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