Revelation 4

There are ten quotes or allusions to the Old Testament in these eleven verses. 10!

We have a majestic picture of God here and a reminder of the importance of worship. If we get one thing out of this passage it should be this: it’s all about God, and not about us (or any other created thing). The 24 elders could represent the 24 divisions of priests or the 12 tribes of Israel together with the 12 disciples of Jesus. Even if they allude to the priests, they probably should be seen as representative of all followers of God worshiping together before the throne, since both the nation of Israel as well as the church are a kingdom of priests called to exalt God:

Exodus 19:5-6 “Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”

1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may proclaim the virtues of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

The seven spirits represent the Holy Spirit. The lightning reminds us of the giving of the law on Mt. Sinai and speaks to the majesty of God. The sea of glass brings to mind the bronze sea in the temple. The four living creatures are reminiscent of the cherubim in Ezekiel 1 and the seraphim in Isaiah 6. They are guardians and bearers of the throne of God! They repeat the cry from Isaiah: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord!” He is all powerful, all present, and all knowing. He is creator. He willed us into existence! He is worthy to “receive glory and honor and power!” We cast our crowns before Him!

James 1:12 “Happy is the one who endures testing, because when he has proven to be genuine, he will receive the crown of life that God promised to those who love him. Then when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that never fades away.”

1 Peter 5:4 “Then when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that never fades away.”

Revelation 2:10 “Remain faithful even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown that is life itself.

Revelation 3:11 “I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have so that no one can take away your crown.

Incidentally, holiness is the only attribute of God that is repeated three times in emphasis, and it happens twice. Should that tell us something about God?

For worship:

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