The following blog post was originally posted here: The Old Song…Rev 4-7 pt 7
And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.(Revelation 4:9-11)
The Apostle John has been ushered into the very center of reality, the throne room of Almighty God. God is there, as are the twenty-four elders, and the various ranks of Heavenly beings, Cherubim, Seraphim, and the hosts of heaven. All of the church is there, as is all of redeemed humanity, for the once turbulent sea of human history has been calmed by the coming of Jesus.
The Elders and the Beasts worship Him that sits upon the throne. When the beasts proclaim the glory of the thrice Holy God, praising His power and self existence, the Elders in regal and priestly garments, prostrate themselves in utter Adoration.
On earth the church that the 24 elders are the embodiment of , was despised, powerless, abused, vulnerable, and often overcome by various sins,compromises and failings. Not much to look at, “no beauty that the world should desire”, but look at these kingly, regal and influential worshippers now! They fully know that all thanks and honor belong to the one who redeemed them, and preserved them unto the end of the race!
And they sing the Old Song. I call it the old song because it is primal, it is a song of the worthiness of the creator, it is an acknowledgement that Creation was done by God and for God. It is the Old song by contrast to what the Bible does call “the New Song”.
* Thou art Worthy O Lord – Worship is truly “worthship”, that is ascribing worthiness of all love, devotion, affection and praise to the One who made us. Worship is the duty of all creatures.
They sing directly unto the Lord, for God is a person, a “Thou” and not an “it”. He is the Lord and Sovereign of everything that exists. The Living Creatures sang of the thrice Holy God, but the 24 Elders sing directly unto Him, for truly ,“Thou art worthy,O Lord…”
* To receive the glory, honor and power – They ascribe to Him Glory,Honor and power. That is in this ancient song of worship, they acknowledge Him as the source of all Glory ; everything splendid, Holy, beautiful, and praise worthy, and true is derived from Him, the Lord.
He is worthy to receive Glory and Honor and Power, Honor also is His, and so is power. That thing we men crave so badly, Honor, comes from and is owed back to God.The Song acknowledges the same of Power. Power and Honor belong to God.
In their fallen state, men seek the honor of other men, living and acting to please men. They would kill for honor, that is to be seen as someone high and lifted up, someone to be respected and esteemed.When God’s supreme Honor is not recognised, all human honor becomes idolatrous.
How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?(John 5;44)
We are told in the book of Romans among other places, that man fell because He refused to ascribe Glory to God, his maker. The essence of sin itself is the rejection of the duty and privilege to glorify God, and to attempt to seek beauty and meaning somewhere other than in God.
We had once usurped the glory, for we refused to acknowledge Him. We worshipped anything but God! We wanted honor from another source and on other terms, we wanted to be great in our own right! And we fallen men killed each other for power.
But here in the throne room of God, we see the redeemed and reborn church of God in communion with the very Cherubim who once barred sinful man from the tree of Life. The Cherubim proclaim the holiness of the Sovereign, and the redeemed men freely acknowledge the glory of God, in a Hymn of adoration.
* For thou hast Created all things for thy pleasure – Just the fact that God called us into existence, calls for worship.
The old song proclaims that Creation alone renders God worthy of humble adoration and acknowledgement of His worth. He it is who made us and who sustains us, we owe him our next breath! The arrogance of man is breath-taking, rejecting his creator, refusing to worship Him, insisting on self existence.
We were made to worship, know and glorify God forever, and we see our end in the throne room of God in Revelation 4.
And why did God create all things? There could only be one answer, for God needs nothing and has no necessity. He wasn’t lonely or bored, He has always had himself, Father, Son and Holy Spirit in eternal communion.
“For thy pleasure, they are and were created…”
We can only humbly say, that all things were made because it pleased God to make all things and all things were made to please Him. Glory to God in the highest!
Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake. Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God?But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.(Psalm 115:1-3)