October 22, 2022 - Revelation 4,5

“After this I looked, and there in heaven was an open door” (4:1). John gets to look, actually, in his vision he gets transported straight into the heavenly throne room! This is pretty amazing stuff. It’s significant, I think, that these apocalyptic visions begin in the throne room, with God seated there. John, and we, are put on notice that there is One who is holy and who rules over all things. Whatever follows, He is in control of it.

An amazing sight. God is seated on his throne, and he holds (it almost seems, nonchalantly) a scroll in his right hand. Just sitting there with this scroll in his hand. Suddenly, an angel cries out in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” (5:2) There seems to be a pause as a search takes place throughout heaven and earth for such a person. John begins to cry because no one is found. And still sitting there on the throne, holding the scroll, is God. There’s some mystery here for me. God the Father is spirit. He does not have a physical body as we do. But I can imagine him sitting there – not to create an idolatrous image in my mind, but there he sits. And with a smile on his face. He knows the answer to the angel’s question!

“The Lion from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David” (5:5) is able! And He is worthy! All this interest in the contents of the scroll, but first, there is worship. When this One takes the scroll, everyone bows before Him and worships Him – the four living creatures, the 24 elders, the saints, the angels, every creature in and on and under the earth and sea. The scroll is not opened until chapter 6. Before the scroll is opened, there’s more important business to take care of: the worship of the Lamb!

Behold the glories of the Lamb

amidst His Father's throne!

amidst His Father's throne!

Prepare new honors for His name,

and songs before unknown,

and songs before unknown.

Let elders worship at His feet,

the church adore around,

the church adore around,

with vials full of odors sweet,

and harps of sweeter sound,

and harps of sweeter sound. –Isaac Watts (1707)

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