Peter Misselbrook's Blog
Dec 13 2013 - Revelation 4:1-11 – Lord of creation

The book of Revelation is full of wonderful and mysterious images. It is not the easiest book to understand, nevertheless its basic message is quite clear.

These visions are given to John against the background of persecution. The might of the Roman Empire seems to be intent upon crushing the church. But John is allowed to take a view behind the scenes, through a door opened into heaven. Here he sees a glorious throne and one sitting upon the throne "who was and is and is to come" (Revelation 4:8). This is the "Lord God Almighty" whose sovereign power and reign has neither beginning nor end. The kingdoms of this world may rise and fall, but his kingdom is unshakable and will endure for all eternity. All the might of Rome pales into insignificance before the almighty power of God.

John sees 24 elders seated on thrones surrounding the throne of God. These, it would seem, represent God's people spanning both Old Testament and the New. They are crowned with gold; they will reign with God; their future is not uncertain. What an encouragement this picture must have been to the beleaguered churches of Asia Minor.

John sees also “four living creatures … covered with eyes, in front and behind. The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle” (4:6-7). These would seem to be representative of all that lives upon the earth – wild animals, domesticated animals, mankind and birds. These are pictured like the seraphim of Isaiah 6, each having six wings and never ceasing to cry out “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty.” All creation is pictured as worshiping its creator.

As John watches, the 24 elders add their praise to that of all creation. They, "fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They cast their golden crowns before the throne and 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'." (4:10-11)

The Lord God Almighty is the creator of all things. All things owe their existence to him and are sustained in being by him. He has the first word – by his word all things were created, and he will have the last word. He is worthy of worship, adoration and praise. He can be trusted with the government of his creation.

God's word enables us still to look behind the scenes of the world in which we live to see the one who has created it all and who remains Lord over all. He is the one who has revealed himself to us in the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the source of our life; our very breath is in his hands. He is sovereign over every circumstance of our lives and nothing escapes his notice or concern. He can be trusted; he can always be trusted.

He is the living God who is worthy of our worship – not just the praise of our lips but the devotion and service of our entire lives. We are called to live before him and to live for him. This is our privilege and joy as the people who know our God.

Thank you, heavenly Father, that your word enables us to look behind the scenes of the world in which we live to see the one who has created it all and who remains Lord over all. You are the source of our life; our very breath is in your hands. May you always receive from us the glad worship that is your due, not just from our lips but from every part of our lives.

Peter Misselbrook