Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Revelation 4:1-8

Beginning with Chapter 4, the book of Revelation shifts from the seven churches in Asia to the future of the worldwide church. John sees the course of coming events similar to the way Daniel and Ezekiel had seen them. The clear teaching in the book of Revelation is that God will defeat evil, with many of the passages containing clear spiritual teachings. Other passages, like today’s chapter 4 reading, are filled with symbolism.

In today’s reading John describes the throne room to us as best he can with his human limitations. John says God has “the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne.” (v. 3) Perhaps John is contrasting God’s throne to that of Caesar’s. Caesar’s pomp and splendor were nothing compared to John’s description of God’s throne room.

John goes on to say, “In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.’”(v. 6-8) Why are these four earthly creatures represented in heaven? No one knows for sure and there are many theories out there, but one that I like is that these creatures symbolize the following: the lion symbolizes majesty and power, the ox symbolizes faithfulness, the human symbolizes intelligence, and the eagle symbolizes sovereignty.

Today’s reading is full of symbolism. The meaning of all the symbolism is not totally clear but the majesty of heaven is very clear. We may not be able to comprehend heaven with our pea sized brains, but I certainly look forward to getting there and seeing it for myself.

Wishing you the best in your walk with Christ,
Richard Leach

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