Obadiah 1:1-14; Revelation 4:1-6; Psalms 131:1-132:9; Proverbs 28:12-13
NT: “After this I looked, and there in heaven was an open door. The first voice that I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” Immediately I was in the Spirit, and there was a throne in heaven and someone was seated on it. The one seated there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian stone. A rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald surrounded the throne. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones sat twenty-four elders dressed in white clothes, with golden crowns on their heads. Flashes of lightning and rumblings and peals of thunder came from the throne. Seven fiery torches were burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God. Something like a sea of glass, similar to crystal, was also before the throne. Four living creatures covered with eyes in front and in back were around the throne on each side.” (Revelation 4:1-6 CSB)
After Jesus Christ gave John messages for the seven churches in Asia (representatives of all churches), the Lord called John up through an open door into heaven. The Lord’s reason for calling John up was to show him, from a heavenly perspective, what must take place after the current moment of time that John was in. One thing to keep in mind as you view occurrences from a heavenly perspective is that heaven is eternal. It does not reside within time, but exists outside and above time. All of time, from beginning to end, can be seen from a heavenly perspective, and we should not try to force the things we see from heaven into a limited, single-threaded and linear timeline of earth.
The most significant thing that John saw as he spiritually entered heaven through his vision – and the most significant thing that we should see – is that at the center of it all is a throne… and that throne is occupied. Everything that John saw… all the things that must take place… at the center of them all is an occupied throne. The throne is not empty, nor is it occupied by a creature. It is occupied by the God and Creator of all – the First and Last – the ever-faithful, ever-present I AM.
John was not able, nor did he try to describe God. All he could see, comprehend, and attempt to describe was the appearance of the glory that emanated from God’s being. God’s glory had the appearance of two gemstones – one that was pure and white, and the other a deep red. Perhaps those colors symbolize both His perfect and pure holiness, and His sacrificial love and mercy. They may also represent the first and last stones that were sown on the Jewish High Priests ephod, showing that God is always cognizant of His covenant people. Around the throne emanated a green rainbow. The rainbow is symbolic of God’s covenant with mankind and green is often symbolic of life and vitality. The rainbow went completely around the throne, symbolizing the truth that God limits Himself with the covenant promises that He has made.
Just as Mount Sinai thundered and quaked under the weight of God’s glory, so the awesome and uncontainable glory of God caused the very throne of heaven to send forth terrifying lightning and quaking peals of thunder. Seated around God’s throne, was the full representation of God’s covenant people – twenty four elders, each seated on their own throne, representing the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve disciples of Christ. Before God, was the fullness of the Holy Spirit, and flying around the throne were four seraphim – the same seraphim that were seen by the prophet Isaiah in the vision he had seen hundreds of years before.
The God that we serve is no creation from the mind of humanity. He is no second-class deity that can be depicted by a picture or image. He is the indescribable, all-powerful, perfectly holy, knee-shakingly awesome God that is the source of all life and set creation on its course. And the God that we serve is now, and forever will be, on the throne.
Psalms: “Lord, my heart is not proud; my eyes are not haughty. I do not get involved with things too great or too wondrous for me. Instead, I have calmed and quieted my soul like a weaned child with its mother; my soul is like a weaned child. Israel, put your hope in the Lord, both now and forever.” (Psalms 131:1-3 CSB)
King David, the psalmist who wrote Psalm 131, did not take his position of king too highly. What kept him firmly rooted to the ground and at peace was having an accurate understanding of himself. While he was indeed king of the people of God, there was another – far greater – king in heaven that he served under. He learned, just as a weaned child learns how to comfort himself in his mother’s presence, to calm and quiet his concerns and anxieties by seeing things from a heavenly perspective. Ultimately, God was on the throne. God was the true king of Israel, and in God’s presence, before His throne in worship, David could be at peace.
Prayer: Lord, I thank You that You are now and forever will be on the throne, ruling and reigning over the affairs of men and the course of creation. Help me to not lose Heaven’s perspective of things, grow fearful and anxious, and end up putting myself on the throne of my life. Help me by Your grace to be humble and at peace before You as I lay my life before you in worship. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.