Revelation 4, 5: The Second Facet
Week 4, Saturday: The worship intensifies
With the stepping forward of the Lamb, and His receiving the scroll from the hand of God, the tone and intensity of worship are dramatically ratcheted up. All the creatures in the throne room fall down; the sound of harps and the sweet smell of incense fill the scene; the saints on earth are somehow included; and glorious hymns summing up the redemptive work of the Lamb fill the chambers of heaven.
This is worship as it should be.
Read Revelation 5
Meditate on Revelation 5.8-10
1. The sense of anticipation in this scene is palpable. As the Lamb receives the scroll, evidently in preparation for opening it, all the worshipers go down, while all their worship intensifies. Why do you suppose this should be so?
2. The glory of this scene is enhanced now by new sounds and the intimation of sweet smells. That incense, we are told, is the “prayers of the saints.” Meditate on this image: The elders in heaven holding prayers which have come up from the saints – presumably, on earth – which are, in their possession, made like sweet incense. What do you make of this, and of what it suggests about the role in heaven of those who have preceded us there, and of how we should view our own “participation” in this realm of unseen things?
3. A “new song” erupts, honoring the Lamb, His achievement, and the effects of what He has done. The Lamb is “worthy” to open the scroll of God. Why? Should we, in our own worship, be looking to the Lamb to open the Lord’s Word to us? Explain.
4. Summarize the extent of the Lamb’s achievement and the effects of it “on the earth”? What is the sense of “we shall reign” in this song?
5. Do you suppose the opening of the scroll has anything to do with the promise, “we shall reign”? How should this instruct us as we seek the Lamb to open God’s Word to us?
In your times of worship – whether private or corporate – do you have a sense of participating in this unseen realm? How would you describe your experience of worship – what you see, how you feel, what worship does in or for you?
The Glory of God
How strange to think that the appearance of a Lamb could evoke such ratcheting-up of the worship of saints and angels and all creation! A Lion, surely; a King descending from David, of course. But a Lamb? What is the power or glory or spiritual influence that we should associate with the Lamb, that He should affect us so profoundly as we worship?
Glory to Glory
Is it reasonable to expect that this “sense” of the Lamb and His worthiness, His achievement and everything that portends from His opening the Word to us – is it reasonable to expect that this should accompany us through the course of a typical day? Why or why not? Would it make any difference in our day if it did?
Recite Revelation 4.11. Pray through this verse in the light of everything we’ve seen so far in Revelation 4 and 5. Make the words your words. Tell the Lord how you plan to honor and glorify Him, and to employ His power today. Plan to share your memory verse with someone today.
The LORD reigns;
Let the earth rejoice;
Let the multitude of isles be glad!
Clouds and darkness surround Him;
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.
A fire goes before Him,
And burns up His enemies round about.
His lightnings light the world;
The earth sees and trembles.
The mountains melt like wax at the presence of the LORD,
At the presence of the LORD of the whole earth.
The heavens declare His righteousness,
And all the peoples see His glory.
Let all be put to shame who serve carved images,
Who boast of idols.
Worship Him, all you gods.
Zion hears and is glad,
And the daughters of Judah rejoice
Because of Your judgments, O LORD.
For You, LORD, are most high above all the earth;
You are exalted far above all gods.
T. M. Moore
The book of Revelation is the culminating episode in the story of God’s covenant. To learn more about that covenant, and to discover the way it integrates all of Scripture into the Gospel of Jesus Christ, order a copy of T. M.’s book, I Will Be Your God, by clicking here.
Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.