The Worship of the EldersRevelation 4:9-11Theme: The worthiness of God.This week’s lessons remind us that our God is worthy of our praise.
LessonAs we turn to the earth – what of the earth? Here the wonders of the macrocosm – the world of large things – are repeated in the microcosm, which is the world of small things. Here there are electrons and protons, neutrons, neutrinos, and a seemingly endless variety of particles that we don’t even begin to understand. The distance between them proportionate to their size is comparable to some of the distances in the solar system. If we were to take the simplest of atoms – the hydrogen atom – and blow it up billions upon billions of times to where the proton at its center is about the size of a ten-inch soccer ball, the electron that’s circling around it would be the size of a golf ball, but it would be five miles away. And in between there’d be absolutely nothing. That’s just the simplest of the atoms. The saints in heaven are praising God for the wonders of his Creation. Shouldn’t we be able to do that in our worship?
Now the praise of the elders doesn’t say only that God is the Creator, that he’s done it all; it says also that he acted with perfect freedom in creating. They say, “By your will they” – that is, all created things – “were created.” This means that the Creation was the result of God’s free will and nothing else. No external force or power acted upon God to cause him to do what he did because there were no beings, entities, forces, or powers in the universe in that distant time before Creation.
Nor was God under any compulsion to do it because of anything in himself. He didn’t need the stars or the galaxies; he didn’t need the quarks or the quasars; he doesn’t need you. When God chose to create these things, it was simply because it pleased him to do it. For his own good pleasure he brought it all into being. This should be profoundly humbling to anyone who thinks about it. That God did create is simply for his own glory. God is no gainer even from our worship. He was in no need of that external glory of his grace that arises from his redeemed, for he is glorious enough in himself without it. What was it that moved him to predestinate his elect to the praise of the glory of his grace? It was, as Ephesians 1:5 tells us, “In accordance with his pleasure and will.” The force of this is that it’s impossible to bring the Almighty under obligations to the creature. God gains nothing from us. Human beings always want to make God somehow dependent on us, but that won’t work. To believe in God adds nothing to his perfections; to disbelieve in God or doubt him takes nothing away. Study Questions
Why did God create the galaxies, our solar system, this earth, and you?
What is the chief end of God?
What is the chief end of man?
ReflectionRead Romans 9. God is our Creator. We are his creatures. Meditate on this Creator-creature distinction and all that it implies.