Perfect Worship? Thoughts on Rev. 4

A special prayer Jesus taught His disciples to pray in response to their asking him how to pray includes the words "Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."

We call it "the Lord's prayer" as it was and is His. In fact I think we can expect He Himself prayed such to the Father. But He gave it to all of us as a template for prayer and most Christ followers around the world use it from time to time, some quite often.

In that light, and in view of so many people considering biblical worship and forms of worship, it may be profitable (as John who wrote it indeed tells us reading the Book of Rev. is!) to have a closer look at parts of chapter four where heavenly worship is and shall be taking place- exactly as God intends.

His will IS ALWAYS done in heaven.

I will not attempt to be fully thorough, only jot a few of my own thoughts down regarding the following verses.

Rev. 4

6b In the middle of the throne and around the throne were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back.

GK- I find Dr. Seuss's inspiration, and of course much of C.S. Lewis and other fantasy writers likewise, to come from the Bible. Whoever and whatever these living creatures are, they are in full accord with God's will, honoring Him directly. All they see -and they apparently see a lot 🙂 only affects their one focus: that of God and His glory!

7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second creature like an ox, the third creature had a face like a man???s, and the fourth creature looked like an eagle flying.

GK- Many scholars and certainly the earliest Christians saw this in reference to the four writers of the four Gospels. Could it be since there is so much symbolism or possible symbolism here, might these "creatures" be Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. I have no idea and rather doubt it… but this is certainly an amazing picture of heavenly worship round about the throne before the One true God of the universe!

8 Each one of the four living creatures had six wings and was full of eyes all around and inside. They never rest day or night, saying: ???Holy Holy Holy is the Lord God, the All-Powerful, Who was and who is, and who is still to come!???

GK- Again the many "eyes" of these creatures is accented. I won't surmise why. They apparently do what they do here CONTINUALLY. ALL THE TIME. NO REST. PERPETUALLY. What is their accent? Who and what is their focus? With no intent on my part to diminish Him as Father, Friend, Shepherd, Lord, Savior, Master, Teacher, Healer, Provider, Kinsman-Redeemer or any of the rest of Who and what He is… here there is but one immediate and repeated focus, and I beg the reader to consider the implications of this regarding our own corporate and personal worship:

THREE times they cry out "Holy"! His absolute purity, stainlessness, utter righteousness, a sense of separateness that shines like the sun in full strength! HOLY, HOLY, HOLY (if you didn't get it the first or second time… this IS THE Nature of God our heavenly Father… and also the nature He not only imputes to us but calls us to grow in and reflect Him with in our new nature, rooted in God the HOLY Spirit by our faith and loving obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ!

After this they accent "Lord", "God", "All-powerful", "Who was, is and is still to come".

Are we in the Church (world-wide, regardless of stream, theology, doctrine or methodology) truly accenting THESE in our preaching, teaching and indeed as here, in our worship? Are these core qualities of His nature and character being written and sung about in our psalms, hymns and spiritual songs now in 2011? I now recall Yule Brenner playing the part of Pharaoh in "The Ten Commandments" movie. "Your God… IS God!!" Amen. Or the statement by Thomas, likely given with a shiver… "My Lord and my God." Absolutely Amen!

All-powerful. For all time. Not created, The Creator! As relevant then as -now-… and WILL COME. Indeed.

Are these core to what we are praying, singing, speaking about? Are they core to what we care about when we worship our King? Important questions in light of perfect worship which is what we're seeing here, fully according to His will!

9 And whenever the living creatures give glory, honor, and thanks to the one who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever,

GK- "Whenever" is CONTINUALLY. Apparently they do this in a continuum, over and over and over without ceasing.

What do they "give"? What ought I and you and all GIVE to God- Father, Son, Spirit? GLORY. HONOR. THANKS. HE sits on the throne. He alone is utterly King. King of kings, Lord of lords. He lives forever and ever… and the worship of Him, the Lord God will continue forever and ever as it rightly should and must. Nobody else is worthy. There is no other God but God.

Note also that all I have highlighted above re. His holiness and all the rest the creatures are accenting, all of this is most certainly WHAT gives Him glory, honor and why and for what we ought to continually give Him thanks about: WHO HE IS. Genuine worship ultimately moves us to consider WHO HE IS.

10 the twenty-four elders throw themselves to the ground before the one who sits on the throne and worship the one who lives forever and ever, and they offer their crowns before his throne, saying:

GK- Note, the elders do this continually as sure as the creatures do what they do continually… this is simply a continuing thing before the throne of God for it is never not all about Him.

They offer their crowns- whatever is of any value in our lives is an offering to the Most High. Take it off- the crown is His! What have we been given that is not a gift? We are sons and daughters, but also stewards of what is not our own. The glory and honor belongs to our God.

They throw themselves down, not graciously, in dignified manner slip out of the pew as it were… no, "throw", or some translations render it "fall". Such is the passion and commitment to our God by the elders. "The one who sits on the throne" is their sole focus there. They -worship- Him. The Greek calls us to?? "kiss toward, to lie prostrate in humility before" Him, this is "worship".

11 ???You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, since you created all things,
and because of your will they existed and were created!???

GK- What do they say? What can anyone say before The Holy God Who is God Alone? What do the redeemed of the Lord need to accent in their/our worship? His utter worthiness. His worth, value, incredible love, kind and completely holy nature. He is worthy to receive glory, and honor, and power. We are not God, and we must remember there is an "otherness" about Him that is unique to Himself. Indeed, "fully man and fully God"… and "fully God" is the sense we get here.

HE "created ALL things", HIS will is why and how. As the old hymn goes, "And for THY PLEASURE they are created". If we really knew, believed and ordered our thoughts, words, choices and lives around this fact we and therefore the churches (of all sorts) would likely serve Him and others at a different level of honoring and loving God as well as loving our neighbors.

He created all things, all people, all creation that exists. This of course means it all belongs to Him.

Things will change. The Book tells us a moment will come when God will roll it all up like a scroll and time as it exists will be no more.

Genuine worship is foreign to those who do not know this God. The true God calls for authentic, truthful God-centered worship. Jesus said, "in spirit and in truth."

The creatures and elders here are certainly not focused on themselves. The focus is fully on the LORD.

Notice little is given us here of what we might call "style". In fact there is no mention of music or other art (as such) in this particular text, for it seems He wanted us to focus on the core issues. Or shall I say, the core Issue: Himself and several of His most amazing and excellent attributes.

May we do so with seriousness, deep awe, joy and a giving heart for He has given us life, breath, the one and only Savior -and eternal life through His Son!

Amen.

Thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

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