Today's Bible Reading: Revelation 4
Selected Biblical Text
8Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying: "'Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,' who was, and is, and is to come."
9Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives forever and ever, 10the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: 11"You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being." (Rev 4:8-11 NIV)
Reflecting and Thinking
After the introduction (Chapter 1) and the letters to the seven churches (Chapters 2-3), the vision of Chapters 4-5 gives us a change of scenery and entrée to the throne room of heaven. The writer tells us that the purpose of this view of heaven is to make clear what is going to take place. We should note that God was on his throne even when the church was experiencing difficulites and persecution. His authority, power, glory and honor were in place and secure. God's deity does not waver. He is holy God, sitting on his throne and receiving worship.
We can now note that the possible chiastic structure includes the following parallel sections: prologue of Chapter 1 and epilogue of Chapter 22; Christ walking with his persecuted church (Chapters 2-3) and Christ walking with his victorious church (Chapters 21-22); a heavenly scene (Chapters 4-5) paralleled by a heavenly scene with seven visions (Chapters 19-20).
Why do we sometimes think that God has abdicated his throne, or at least given some part of his power to other forces? How can we reconcile the presence of problems in our world and the continuing control and love of God? How do you think you would personally respond if you were to have a vision such as this one? What would be your response if you were able to peer into the throne room of God?
Heavenly Father, we praise you and worship you in your holiness, splendor and grandeur. We declare that you are worthy, and we ask you to strengthen our faith. In the name of Christ the Lamb, Amen.