Revelation 4 is such an awesome chapter because the Apostle John describes the worship taking place in heaven. Even though it consists of only eleven verses, it gives us an awesome description of heaven. While we are here on earth, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, worship is taking place in heaven. This is something that the saints of God really have to look forward to.
Verse 1-4 states: After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.” Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. Around the throne were twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads.
In these verses, John saw an open door in heaven, and the voice, which is Jesus, invites him up to heaven. Verse two states how he was transformed instantly to Spirit man so that he could view this holy and awesome sight. The first thing that John sees is the throne of God. He describes the one sitting on the throne as precious gemstones, and John says the glow of it was like a rainbow colored emerald. The rainbow symbolizes the promise God made with man after the flooding of the earth.
In verse four, John tells us about the twenty four thrones that surround the throne, and on these thrones the twenty four elders are seated. They are all clothed in white, which represents purity and holiness, and the gold crowns represent royalty. The number twenty four probably represents the twelve tribes of Israel, and the twelve apostles.
What is so exciting about this chapter is mentioned in the following verses: And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature was like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!” (Verses 5-8) The four living symbolize the four characteristics of God. The lion represents God’s majesty and power, the calf His faithfulness, the human His intelligence and his sovereignty is represented by the eagle.
Whenever they hear this, the elders also worship God, as stated in verses 10-11: the twenty four elders fall down before Him who lives on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.”
What I like about this chapter of Revelation is that it paints a visual picture of the throne of God, and the continuous worship that takes place around it. God is seen and worshipped in all His magnificence and glory. This chapter just proves the point that we can’t praise and worship God enough. Revelation 4 is a good chapter to read and meditate on whenever your spirit needs lifting, because it really allows you to understand just how awesome and mighty God is.
Scripture taken from New King James Version Bible
Explanation of symbols found in Tyndale Life Application Study Bible New Living Translation