Revelation 4:6b-ll: ‘Theatre of praise.’
“6 Also in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.In the centre, round the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and behind. 7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. 8 Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all round, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying: ‘“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,”who was, and is, and is to come.’ 9 Whenever the living creatures give glory, honour and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: 11 ‘You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honour and power, for you created all things,and by your will they were created and have their being.’ NIV
The scene John saw was one in which these ‘’living creatures’’ continuously worship God. It seems they represent the whole of the created order. Nature is a living thing, and it constantly praises God (see, e.g. Psalm 19). Inspired by the worship of the living world, the church (we have said before that the ‘’twenty-four elders’’ represent the entire people of God throughout the ages) joins in.
‘…perhaps we should pause here and reflect carefully. Do we, in our private prayers and worship, and in our public services and liturgies, give sufficient weight to praising God as the creator of all things?…Do we then view creation itself as a theatre of praise, and live appropriately within such an awesome place?’ Tom Wright: ‘Revelation for everyone’, p.49.
As Wright says, there is a ‘’because’’ in the church’s worship (11). We praise God because we understand certain truths about Him, even if our comprehension is dim at best.
As we regularly hear the call of nature, may our hearts be stirred to heartily join in. What a blessing to live within the ‘theatre of praise.’
PRAYER: ‘When through the woods and forest glades I wander, and hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees; when I look down from lofty mountain grandeur, and hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze, Then sings my soul, my Saviour God to thee, How great thou art…’