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.
LessonWe’re studying what it is to worship God, and we’re using probably the best model in all the Bible for understanding what worship should be, that is, the worship that takes place in heaven and is described for us in Revelation 4. We saw a number of things last week about worship. First of all, worship is of God alone. Secondly, worship is the acknowledgement of God’s attributes, that is, praising him for who he actually is. Third, worship is ceaseless in heaven at least, and, in a certain sense, on earth as well because the praises of God’s people around the globe go up to him continually. And lastly, worship is best when it’s also done with others.
That brings us to an item I didn’t mention in our previous lesson, and that is that worship is usually and perhaps best expressed in song. These chapters are filled with hymns. There are five of them in all: two in chapter four, three in chapter five, and more that occur later on in the book. Isn’t it interesting that the worship of God in heaven is best expressed in song? There’s a reason for that, of course, and the reason is that music is a gift from God that allows us to express our deepest heart responses to God and his truth in meaningful and memorable ways. Music is a gift of God that enables us to join our hearts together and, when we hear the expression of great truths that concern God and his nature, allows us in unison to say, as it were, “Yes! Yes! Yes!” to the things that we have heard and believed.
The loss of singing in contemporary culture suggests that people in our day no longer feel anything at a very deep level. About the only place in our culture where people still actually do gather together and sing is in church. And the reason for that is obvious – it’s that Christians have something to sing about! Like the saints in heaven, we want to praise God with heart, and soul, and voice, and singing the revelations of God together is how we do it best.
That’s what Christians have always felt and always done. It’s certainly what the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders are doing in heaven in the songs that we have here in Revelation 4. We join that great chorus rightly and wisely and joyously when we also sing. Study Questions
Summarize the four aspects of worship that we have learned so far in our study of Revelation.
What does Revelation reveal about the place of music in worship?
Why do people today generally not sing?
ApplicationUsing a hymnal, sing some hymns during your devotions this week. Or set aside an evening with family for a time of worship and singing.