Thursday, October 20, 2016

Revelation 4:8-11

Revelation 4:8-11
And the four living beings – each one according to one of them – while again having six wings and they were full of eyes inside and around them.  And they were not having a place to rest day and night while saying, “Holy, holy, holy Lord God Almighty: the one who was, the one who is, and the one who is coming.  And whenever the living beings will give glory, honor, and praise to the one who is sitting upon the throne – the one who lives into the eras of the eras – the twenty-four elders will fall in the presence of the one who sits upon the throne and bow down to worship the one who lives into the eras of the eras.  And they will throw their crowns in the presences of the throne while saying, “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power because you created all things into existence and for the sake of your will they were and they were being created.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

The four living creatures give glory to God.  The elders fall to the ground and worship.  Do you hear the identity of God in this passage?  Holy.  Holy.  Holy.  God – all three persons – is holy.  But don’t forget what holy means.  Holy means different.  It means separate.  The attribute of God that the living creatures lift up is that He is different from us.  This should be inspirational.  God is holy.  He is separate.  But we are called to imitate God.  We are called to be different, too.  God absolutely loves us as we are.  But He does not desire that we stay as we are.  He is holy.  He desires us to be holy, too.

Are you holy?  In what ways are you separate from the world around you?  In what ways is God holy – different – from the world?

Second Thought:

Look at what the elders do before God.  They toss their crowns towards God.  This is an act of humble submission.  These twenty-four elders were given high position and status in the eternal realm.  Yet, they do not gloat or boast.  Instead, they turn and humbly cast all that they have been given to the King of the universe.  Come to think of it, that’s probably why they are the twenty-four elders.  They are the twenty-four because their nature is humbleness and submission before God.  That should speak volumes about what God truly values among us as people.

Are you humble before God?  How do you look to glorify God rather than collect treasure for yourself?

Third Thought:

Look at the title that God is given: Our Lord and God.  The problem with being a lifelong Christian living in a nation where Christianity is openly taught is that we don’t see this name as special anymore.  Of course God is Lord and God, right?  However, if we look historically at this title, John the Seer is doing something of great importance here.  The Emperor of Rome at the time that John is writing this book was a man whose name was Domitian.  Domitian was an emperor who was known for being reasonably cruel to Christians.  More importantly, though, Domitian gave himself the title: Lord and God.  Thus, what John says here isn’t a proclamation of god’s identity as we would read it today.  What John is doing is overtly speaking out against the authority of the world.  He is blatantly taking the title of the Roman Emperor and attributing it to God.  In other words, Domitian is no lord and he is absolutely no God.  God, the Father, our creator, is our Lord and God.

Why do you think John would attack the authority of the world?  How do you relate to secular authority?  Why do you think that we as Christians in the modern world so easily miss some of the deeper theological points that John places in the writings of Revelation? 

Passage for Tomorrow: Revelation 5:1-5
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