“And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying, ‘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.'” (ESV – Read the chapter)
This, as with much of the book, is a somewhat bewildering picture. John describes a scene that is hard to imagine (which probably just means it was equally hard to describe). He describes creatures that would be terrifying to behold. It is a picture of God in His throne room, seated on His throne. It is a picture of Him being worshiped by the heavenly host. It is a picture of continual worship of the God who is on His throne.
Although this is indeed a bewildering picture, it is an important one for two reasons. First, God is on His throne. For the audience to whom John was writing, this was an important reality. God on His throne was and is a picture of His sovereignty and rule. He is the king of heaven and earth and He is not going to let things get out of hand. It may seem in the kingdom that chaos is close to reigning, but God is on His throne. When you are in the midst of a situation where the world seems to be rising up to score a major victory over you as a citizen of God’s kingdom, know well that God is on His throne.
The second thing here is that God is constantly being worship as God. This is right and proper for He is indeed worthy of worship. More importantly than that, it means we never worship alone. No matter how isolated we may feel in our current cultural context, if we are worshiping the Lord of heaven and earth, we are not doing so alone. We are part of a great chorus of worship that is happening every second of every day. This means we can worship with confidence and joy. We are joining in the heavenly throng that will be going on long after the problems and threats we are otherwise facing have passed away.
John’s vision may seem to be a difficult one, but for those with eyes to see, it is a powerful and encouraging one.