“And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” (Rev 5:13)
Dear brothers and sisters,
Thank you for your prayers and support. Since last update, my wife has experienced preeclampsia after the birth of our fifth child, Evelina. She is now doing well, and we are hoping to get back into our regular habits. The transition from four to five kids, combined with the restrictions with the coronavirus, has made this past few weeks of sickness more intense.
In the midst of this situation, I have found a lot of encouragement from the book of Revelation. We are currently going through it on our Zoom, Thursday night bible study. The last two bible studies have covered Revelation 4-5, which comes after the seven letters to the churches in Asia minor. These churches were facing many challenges, just like us. Among the things they were experiencing were persecution, worldliness, heresies, lack of love, and an accurate understanding of their own condition.
What did they need as they were meeting various trials and challenging circumstances, and what do we need in the midst of temptations, trials, and the situations that we are facing? The answer is, Revelation 4-5. Here John sees the vision of the throne room of God. The emphasis is on the One who sits on the throne and the Lamb.
Dear brothers and sisters, God is the Sovereign One who is ruling! For the seven churches it might seem like the emperor or the secular leaders were the ones in control, but in these chapters, we see how God is ruling. We also see that the only logical response to this, is to join in with the four living creatures and the 24 elders in worship of the One who sits on the throne. He who is “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” (4:8)
In chapter 4, the focus of the worship is on God as creator, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created” (4:11). In chapter 5, the focus turns to the worship of the Lamb, who through His death has conquered, and is worthy to break the seven seals of the scroll. “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.” (5:9)
Take courage. Jesus has conquered and he has ransomed a people for God from every tribe, language, people, and nation. His purposes will be accomplished regardless of if we face the coronavirus or persecution. May we faithfully proclaim the gospel and trust that God is sovereign, and may we join with the living creatures and 24 elders in singing a new song in light of the redemption that Christ has won (5:8-9). May we join the angelic host and proclaim the worthiness of the Lamb (5:10-12), and with every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” (5:13)
May we be encouraged by the fact that God is on the throne ruling, and the Lamb who has won our victory. May we respond with lives of trust and worship.