Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all round, 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.’
Revelation 4:8 (NIV)
Read: Revelation 4:1-11
Consider: Reading Revelation can seem quite daunting because of the prophetic nature of the book and the imagery used. Today’s reading in Revelation 4 describes the throne in heaven surrounded by 24 elders. There are four living creatures, each with six wings covered with eyes. This might seem baffling. Don’t concentrate on the imagery, but on what the elders and creatures do and say.
There are twenty four elders who surround the throne and sit on thrones themselves. If we were to look at this from a purely human perspective we might be tempted to think that these elders must be worthy of our praise as they are closest to God. However, look again at what they do. In Revelation 4:10 we read: ‘… the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever’ (see also 5:8 and 19:4). The elders do not receive praise, but give praise.
Notice what these elders say: ‘You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honour and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being’ (Revelation 4:11). Their worship and praise is first and foremost directed towards God as the creator and sustainer of all life. Later in Revelation the worship of the twenty four elders and the living creatures is directed towards Jesus. In Revelation 5:9 we read: And they sang a new song, saying: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation’. In Revelation 5:12 the twenty four elders and the living creatures are surrounded by tens of thousands of angels who also join in this worship and praise: In a loud voice they were saying: ‘Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and praise!’
So where do we come into this? It would be easy to think that as ordinary Christians we have little part to play in all this. We need to remember, however, that there is no such thing as an ordinary Christian, we are all extraordinary in God’s sight. Do you wonder what heaven will be like and what you will do there? It will clearly be a place of praise where we will join in worshipping God and Jesus. In Revelation 5:13 John tells us: Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honour and glory and power, for ever and ever!’
Pray: Father, may we give you our worship and praise freely. We praise you for the life you have given us and for the gift of new life we have been given in Jesus. Amen