Enthronement – Part 2

Revelation 4:1-11
1After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.”
2At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne.
3And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald.
4Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads.
5From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God,
6and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal. And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind:
7the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like an eagle in flight.
8And 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!”
9And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever,
10the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever 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.”

One of my spiritual tools is visualization. When I read a story in the Bible I can “see” the events taking place. I’m in the crowd or hearing the conversations. (If that makes me weird or immature – so be it. I’ll wear the labels proudly.) When I pray for someone, I don’t spend a great deal of time talking with God about them, I just visualize myself bringing them into God’s presence and leaving them there with Him. What He does for them is His problem. And when I spend time in devotion and praise, I see myself face down, flat on the floor before a Holy God, and I’m reaching out and touching His . . . toes. I know. How weird is that? There’s no one else there and I can’t see Him at all; just His toes. But I am honored to be there and holding that image helps keep me focused on praising Him. In my image there are flashes of lightening and clouds – almost fog like. The light flashes through the fog in different colors and there is the sound of deep thunder (one of my favorite sounds in the world) and loud music. This of course is not my only image. But it is a predominate one. John had a much greater image given to Him by God of just what worship in the throne room looks like.

John describes same flashing of lightning and thunder, but then goes on to fill out this image in great detail. Having described God in words that conjure up refracted light, he now moves on to the creatures and furnishings that surround Him. We discussed yesterday the 24 additional thrones upon which are seated the 24 elders. Separating John from the throne of God is a crystal sea. In ancient writings and in the Bible, the sea represents the sin that entangles us all. Usually the sea is churning and contains beasts (Satan) that will attack. Here, the sea is completely call. Sin has no power, but there is a separation between God and John, for he still resides in his sinful body.

And then we have the “four living creatures”. These creatures are not mentioned only here in Revelation. Something very similar is also described by the prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel. I am most fascinated by all the eyes that cover these beings. They indicate God’s ability to see and know all. But for me, they also are focused on God Himself because when they open those eyes and look at Him they are moved to fill up the throne room with praise for God and everyone there in the throne room joins into the praise – including the 24 elders who represent US. It is a beautiful image.