After more than a week in San Antonio, yesterday I was so happy to see Renée again!
Over the years, the two of us have read through the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures scores of times.
This autumn, however, I have been doing something different. I have been reading the New Testament through twice, two or three chapters at a time.
Today in my reading of Revelation chapters 4 and 5, I came across one of my favorite verses in the last book of the New Testament. There we read:
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.
Somehow until today, however, I had failed to connect the dots.
In the immediate context of verse 10, we read that the 24 elders fall down before God, lay their crowns before His throne, and sing this beautiful worship song. But who are the 24 elders?
Because there are 12 sons of Jacob and 12 apostles, some have speculated they must be the 24 elders. That’s good math, but not a widely accepted interpretation. Many see the 24 elders representing not just Christian believers, but all of God’s family around the world and down through the millennia.
Indeed, just a chapter over, John makes the provocative statement that “every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them” begins worshiping God. They sing:
To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be praise and honor and glory and power,
for ever and ever!
While the apostle John may not have seen himself as one of the 24 elders, “in the spirit” (4:2) he saw and heard himself, and you and me, worshiping God.
What an amazing thought!
Thanks to Renée’s encouragement, I memorized Revelation 4:11 years ago. I still deeply cherish this wonderful affirmation of worship to God.
Today, however, I realized I also should memorize Revelation 5:13. After all, you and I will sing this song of worship to God with “every creature” someday!
Will you join me? If so, here is the verse again, broken into short units with memory aids in brackets:
To him who sits on the throne [God the Father] | and to the Lamb [Jesus Christ]
be praise and honor [think PhD] | and glory and power [think GDP]
for ever and ever!