Worshiping God for What He Has Done (Revelation 4:11)

The four living creatures, whose body-covering eyes are fixed constantly upon God, praise him for who he is. The twenty-four knee-bending, crown-casting elders—Israel’s patriarchs and the church’s apostles—praise him for what he does. They lift their voices with the words of this song: “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” (Rev. 4:11). The English word “worthy” translates the Greek term axios. Taken with the phrase, “our Lord and God,” it is thoroughly political language. Robert H. Mounce comments, “‘You … Continue reading Worshiping God for What He Has Done (Revelation 4:11)

The Posture of Worship (Revelation 4:9–10)

When I was a pastor, I usually sat on the front row. I did this not because I was some sort of liturgical brown-noser, eager to earn worship points from God for my enthusiasm. I was a pastor; I was paid to sit on the front row. Unfortunately, I could not see my fellow worshipers from the front row. My back was to them. So, on occasion, while the worship team led congregational singing, I turned around for a look. On even rarer occasions (only once or twice a year), I sat in the very back row. From there, I … Continue reading The Posture of Worship (Revelation 4:9–10)

Worshiping God for Who He Is (Revelation 4:8–9)

Familiarity breeds contempt. At least that is often the case with our relationships. In The Screwtape Letters, C. S. Lewis writes, “When two humans have lived together for many years it usually happens that each has tones of voice and expressions of face which are almost unendurably irritating to the other.”[i] And all the people said, “Amen!” Or, as the kids might put it, “Been there, done that.” Interestingly, when it comes to a relationship with God, familiarity breeds not contempt but ever-increasing wonder. Consider, for example, these words from Revelation 4:8–9: “And the four living creatures, each of them … Continue reading Worshiping God for Who He Is (Revelation 4:8–9)

The Worshipers of God (Revelation 4:6–8)

Around the throne of God are gathered “twenty-four elders” (Rev. 4:4), “four living creatures” (4:6), and “many angels” (5:11). Although he does not see them in his vision, John hears the voices of “every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them” (5:13). All creation, John is telling us, unites to worship the God who made them and the Lamb who would save them (Rev. 4:6-8). In Reversed Thunder—my favorite book on John’s Revelation—Eugene Peterson comments on the significance of the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures. Of … Continue reading The Worshipers of God (Revelation 4:6–8)