Praise of God

PRAISE OF GODDay and night they never stop saying: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. (Revelation 4:8b – 10a)

The stage is now set: The Church has possibly been taken to Heaven (the Rapture); the Lord is on His throne; and all of heaven praises Him as they await the outpouring of His wrath (the Tribulation).(1)

His Holiness – What we are about to see in the events of “history to come” is a revelation of the Holiness of God. God is praised as thrice Holy (“holy, holy, holy”) on account of:

His Mercy (Revelation 4:6–8) which displayed itself in times past (“who was”);

His Majesty (Revelation 4:1) that is (“who is”) on display; and,

His Justice (Revelation 4:4) that is about to be displayed (“who is to come”).(2)

This revelation of holiness does not repel those who know Him. It stimulates those who live in His presence to worship Him and give Him “glory, and honor and thanks.” In the following chapters of Revelation, we will see an entirely different reaction from those who stand in rebellion against Him.(3)

His Sovereignty – It is interesting to note that the name of God used here is “Lord God Almighty” (Revelation 4:8). History tells us that this was the official title used by the Emperor Domitian, who was likely responsible for the persecutions that sent John to Patmos. Men and women may honor themselves today, but the day will come when everybody—great and small—will acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord of all.(4) Prostrating on one’s face was a form of homage offered to “gods” and rulers in antiquity.(5) Here the Ancient of Days, in a prelude to when “every knee will bow,” receives this honor from the twenty-four elders.

Up Next – Worthiness of God.

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  1. Wiersbe, W. W. (1992). Wiersbe’s expository outlines on the New Testament (p. 809). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  2. Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 565). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
  3. Richards, L., & Richards, L. O. (1987). The teacher’s commentary (p. 1078). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  4. Wiersbe, W. W. (1992). Wiersbe’s expository outlines on the New Testament (p. 809). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  5. Keener, C. S. (1993). The IVP Bible background commentary: New Testament (Re 4:9–10). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
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