The Heavenly Throne Room
It is of vital importance that at all times (and perhaps especially in these times) we live our lives in the light of who God is and who we are by his grace. In this post we will consider this theme from the apostle John’s experience.
Revelation 4:1–3; 9-11 & 5:5-6; 8-10 (NIV1984)
4:1After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first 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 there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. 3And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne…
9Whenever the living creatures give glory, honour and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, 10the 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.”….
5:5the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed… 6Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain…
8… the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9And they sang a new song:
“You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals, because you were slain,
and with your blood you purchased men for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation.
10You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
and they will reign on the earth.”
There is a throne in heaven and the one sitting on it is God the creator of all things, 4:1-2 & 11. This is who is king, ultimately working all things according to his will, 4:11b and Ephesians 1:3-14. The symbolism of verse three declares our creator God to be a God of covenant, one who gives and keeps his word.
Firstly notice the colours used to describe the appearance of him who sits on the heavenly throne, carnelian (ruby) and jasper. These are the first and last stones on the High Priests breast plate mentioned in Exodus 28:15-21 and 39:8-14. There were twelve stones in all, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel. This points us to the Abrahamic covenant, Israel being the nation promised to Abraham.
Next John describes seeing a rainbow resembling an emerald. Here we are pointed back to before Abraham to God’s covenant with Noah and all of humanity, Genesis 9:12-17. The green of the emerald suggesting the new life which sprang forth after the flood waters had receded, Genesis 8:22.
In our text from chapter five two more covenants are referenced firstly the Davidic, 5:5 and then Messianic, 5:9-10.
Jesus, the Lamb of God, fulfils the Davidic (Luke 1:32-33) and Messianic covenants (John 1:29 and Luke 24:46-47), he is the descendant of David who will sit on his father’s throne and he is the suffering servant, the anointed one who has brought redemption to mankind according to God’s eternal plan and purpose.
This then is what we see as we look to the heavenly throne room, our creator God who has remembered his covenants and has brought salvation through the Lamb who who was slain, the triumphant Lion of the tribe of Judah. And in the light of this reality we see ourselves made by Jesus to be a kingdom and priests, servants of God, destined to reign on the earth.
Heavenly Father, God of all love and comfort, help us to always see you enthroned as creator and King over all things. Thank you that you remember and keep your covenant promises. Help us, your people, to honour you by keeping covenant with you. In the light of who you are help us to be the kingdom, priests and servants Jesus purchased us to be as we look forward with confidence to our eternal destiny with you. Amen