by Kristen C. Strocchia
“Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne and who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say, ‘You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” Revelation 4:9-11
Remember that there were no bold texts, italics or highlighters at the time of this writing, so repetition is emphasis in the Bible. The emphasis here is that God alone sits on the throne in heaven and that He is eternally existent. His living throne acknowledges this continually. As they do so the representatives of the Old and New Testament bodies of Christ alike prostrate themselves before the throne–a sign of submission–and worship–that is ascribe to God all that He alone is worthy of.
During this time of corporate worship, the elders also lay down their crowns. Here again, we are reminded that heaven will be filled with those who have been victorious in this life. That we who win the victor’s crowns [Revelation 2:10, 3:11]. A reminder that though we may store up such treasures in heaven [Matthew 6:20], our righteous response before our Creator will be to lay it all down at His feet, to recognize that He alone–the author of life who sent His Son to conquer death, hell and the grave [Revelation 1:18]–is worthy of the honor of our victory over life.
Notice the difference between the worship of the living creatures and that of the elders. The creatures proclaim God’s holiness–His moral righteousness and purity–His power over all, and His eternality.
While the elders worship from a more personal experience. They acknowledge God as their personal Lord and God.
They speak directly to Him–using the pronoun You–and tell Him that He is worthy to receive, that is for humans to relinquish back to Him all glory, and all honor, and all power that we tried in this life to assume ourselves. Finally we will recognize that these things are perfect in His hands alone and we will gladly submit to His authority in all.
Finally, they acknowledge that God created everything. Obviously leading up to the time of Noah, even though people may have understood that God was Creator, they didn’t find this fact worthy of respect and obedience. Then again after the flood, Nimrod incited the people not to just disrespect and disobey God, but to erase His existence from their minds altogether. But if we would just recognize God for who He truly is–Creator of all–then it would be hard to live our life for any other. Only those who, in this life, acknowledged the Godhead for who He truly is will be permitted to worship around His eternal throne [Psalm 1 & 15].
Do you acknowledge God with your life? Do your words and actions point to the truth of who He is?