Tuesday, August 20, 2019

2019.08.20 Hopewell @Home ▫ Revelation 4:1-11

Questions for Littles: What did John see open in heaven in Revelation 4:1? What did the voice he heard sound like? What did the voice say? In what did he immediately find himself in Revelation 4:2? What did he see in heaven? With what words does he try to describe what he saw in Revelation 4:3? How many thrones were there altogether (cf. Revelation 4:4)? Who sat on the other 24? With what were they clothed? What did they have on their heads? What was the great/main throne like in Revelation 4:5? What was in front of the throne’s platform (Revelation 4:6a)? What was on the throne’s platform (verse 6b)? How does verse 6 communicate that one purpose of the living creatures was to behold the throne? How does Revelation 4:7 communicate that the living creatures represent all living creatures? How does Revelation 4:8 communicate that the living creatures have the same ultimate purpose as the burning ones (seraphim) of Isaiah 6:1-10 (cf. John 12:40-41)? How often do they take a rest? What are they doing all this time without rest? What, specifically, do they say about God three times? And then what do they say about God? And then what? How does Revelation 4:9 begin? So, how often is Revelation 4:10 happening? Who falls down before Him who sits on the throne (verse 10)? What else do they do? What do they do with their crowns? Of what do they say the Lord is worthy (Revelation 4:11)? Why?
This week’s Call to Worship, Prayer for Help, Song of Adoration, and Confession of Sin all came from Revelation 4:1-11. Here, we have a window into the praise of heaven, and what we find is the most amazing creatures (Revelation 4:8-9), and the most honored among glorified humanity (Revelation 4:10-11) praise God for things that are only true of God, and not even the most glorified creature.

First, God is holy. He alone has holiness inherent to Himself. The only way anything else becomes holy is by association with Him, by being set apart unto Him or near Him. We should be amazed at His holiness. These amazing creatures do not rest, day or night, in amazement at His holiness. They never tire of the holiness of God. They never begin to find it boring.

Similarly, only God is Almighty. Everything and everyone else is limited in power, and dependent upon God for their very existence from one moment to the next.

And only God is eternal—without any beginning. He just was. It seems to be to this that the elders are responding when they answer, with praise of their own, the praise of the four living creatures. When they hear that God is the only eternally existent being—that He had no beginning at all—they are reminded that He alone is the Creator of all things. Everything literally owes its existence to Him.

And that, of course, includes us. There is no honor or recognition or authority that we have, except that which ultimately belongs to Him, and we must lay it at His feet! So, let us learn not only to be impressed with Him, but also (importantly) to be unimpressed with ourselves!

Wonderfully, when we look at Isaiah 6:1-10 with John 12:40-41, we realize that this glory that belongs to God alone is actually the glory of Jesus Christ—God Himself who became man to save us!
Of what are you tempted to be proud? What is the danger of missing out on who Jesus is and how glorious Jesus is? What activities does He use to humble you about yourself and show you His glory instead? What use will you make of these activities for your own soul?
Suggested songs: ARP110B “The Lord Has Spoken” or TPH229 “Holy God, We Praise”

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