New Testament passage for Thursday, December 13, 2012: Revelation 4:1-11
9 And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the thro, and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11 “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.” Revelation 4:9-11 (ESV)
We have all at times wondered what heaven will be like. The Book of Revelation gives us glimpses. We are shown scenes of glory. These pictures are not the totality of our future home, but only snippets and hints of a whole new vast world.
There is much symbolism in the Revelation. For example, in today's passage, we see twenty-four elders. Who are these individuals? Most scholarly commentary agrees that these represent the twelve Old Testament tribes of Israel plus the twelve apostles of the New Testament. Collectively they represent God's people through Old and New Tetament history.
Verse 4 says that these twenty-four elders were sitting on thrones! Here's the picture: there is this one big THRONE and around it are 24 smaller THRONES. So, what does this mean? What is our destiny? Ephesians 2:6 states that through the redemption that is in Christ, God has "raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." We are destined to rule and reign with Christ!
Rulership means more than responsibility and administration. It also means the full enjoyment of that which is ruled. Not only are we able to finally "get it together" but we enjoy the endless benefits of a universe in complete harmony. That is beyond our ability to understand now. But, it lies ahead!
This is why everything we do here is a part of preparation for the throne. This is the meaning of Romans 8:28 which says, "all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." His purpose for you is rulership, and now He is working all things around training for that great end.
The ultimate focus of our future world will be the GLORY OF GOD. He is the ultimate good. He is ultimate joy. There is none higher or better than Him. Therefore, even in our greatest victory we will fall down BEFORE HIM. The great hymn of the church states it:
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea.
Because God's glory lies ahead of me, I want to live for His glory now. This hope fuels our faith and heightens our joy. We live for enter days ahead.