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Revelation 4:6-11 – Worship around God’s Throne

Summary

John sees creatures and elders singing praises to God in the heavenly throne room.

Analysis

A heavenly company calls God "holy" and announces that God "was and is and is to come." God's holiness or otherness inspires a sense of awe and wonder. In the Old Testament, God is the "I Am." In Revelation this is expanded backward and forward so that God is and was and will come in the future. God's existence spans all time. Moreover, the heavenly chorus praises God for having created all things (4:11). Around the throne are four living creatures. One resembles a lion, another an ox, another a person, and another an eagle. Together these creatures represent the created order: birds, wild and domestic animals, and human beings. It is significant that human beings belong to the created order but are not at its center. God the Creator is the focus for praise.

Revelation 4:6-11

6and in front of the throne there is something like a sea of glass, like crystal.

Around the throne, and on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: 7the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with a face like a human face, and the fourth living creature like a flying eagle. 8And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and inside. Day and night without ceasing they sing,
‘Holy, holy, holy,
the Lord God the Almighty,
   who was and is and is to come.’
9And whenever the living creatures give glory and honour and thanks to the one who is seated on the throne, who lives for ever and ever, 10the twenty-four elders fall before the one who is seated on the throne and worship the one who lives for ever and ever; they cast their crowns before the throne, singing,
11 ‘You are worthy, our Lord and God,
   to receive glory and honour and power,
for you created all things,
   and by your will they existed and were created.’

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10 February 2011

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