Reflections on Revelation Chapter 4
Firstly I wish to thank everyone for the prayers, their support, their encouragement and last of all but not least their love as I recover from my operation.
In my bible reading most recently I have been reading and focusing on Revelation. I realised that despite reading this book many times I am still no closer to understanding it. I will sometimes hear other Christians speaking about stuff relating to the end times and I know that I have no real knowledge or clue about other than what I have heard others speak about. So I decided to embark on a plan to read it and as I read it I would make my own notes and see what I could regarding this book. I ask that God might show me and give me a better understanding of the doctrines regarding the last things.
I found chapter four to be utterly amazing. In my mind I decided that John could not have made this up and that if he did what a fantastic and vivid imagination. I was particularly in awe of those passage describing God and the throne of God (Rev 4:3). Reading Revelation was problematic because I was trying to find out and yet the more that I read the more I realised that I did not know. As I read I just had more and more questions.
So the questions came thick and fast. Such as ‘Why the scant descriptions regarding God?’. Revelation chapter 4 verse 3 describes God as being like a precious stone and I immediately had thoughts of scriptures such as Psalm 118:2 “ I praise the LORD for answering my prayers and saving me. (22) The stone that the builders tossed aside has now become the most important stone. (23) The LORD has done this, and it is amazing to us.” Or Psalm 78:35 “They remembered God Most High, the mighty rock that kept them safe.” What came across to me as I read was just how incomprehensible God is. Our God is an Incomprehensible God and yet he has made himself known through Jesus Christ (see John 1:18 “No one has ever seen God. The only Son, who is truly God and is closest to the Father, has shown us what God is like.”
Moving on to other statements – John describes seven torches around the throne burning with fire and refers to them as the ‘seven spirits’ that stand before God. Is this a reference to the Holy Spirit? Is this saying that God sees and knows everything? What about the strange angelic creatures that John describes? These creatures are mentioned before but in the old testament in the book of Ezekiel (see chapter 1:4-14). The portion of this chapter that really fascinates me is when it speaks and describes the 24 Elders. Who are they?
To summarize God is described as reigning and ruling. That he has always reigned and ruled and is doing so now and will do so in the future. God is likened to a precious stone. Stones are seen as symbolic of strength, enduring and indestructible, immovable and unchangeable. Is John making analogies that God has these qualities? The worship of the Angelice Creatures and the Elders also illuminate the Character of God. This chapter seems to be setting the stage for the rest of the book.
Chapter four sets the scene for the rest of Revelation by reminding us of who God is. God is all powerful, ever present, everlasting, eternal, and sees all things and knows all things. The Revelation is saying that God is able. How do we as Christians apply this knowledge? We can appropriate it by faith. Taking God at his word. Believing what he says based on what he has done, is doing and will do. Scripture is saying that God is in control. We can trust and believe in this or we can trod our own path (which leads to destruction) – the choice is ours. No matter the situation, or event, or problem – God is in control. God is all powerful, all knowing and never leaves us or forsakes us. Also God holds the future ( as I will find out when I read chapter 5). So our God is able and ready.
“Rev 4:8 ESV And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!”