Friday, 2 July 2021
And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sat on the throne, saying, “Amen! Alleluia!” Revelation 19:4
The praises to the Lord God are seen to continue in this verse. In the previous three verses, it mentioned the great multitude in heaven. Now, it says, “And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures.”
These twenty-four elders and the four living creatures mentioned first in chapter 4 are brought back into focus one last time. As in verses such as 5:8, when there is an exclamation of the Lord’s glory, it says they, “fell down and worshiped God.”
This is an act of praising God who accomplished the victory and He alone is ultimately to receive the credit for what has occurred in the destruction of Babylon the great.
The word is written in advance to show His intent and purpose for that to come about, regardless as to the way in which it happens (meaning an invading army, a nuclear blast, a naturally occurring catastrophe, or so on). Ultimately, the judgment on the harlot is of God, and He is to be worshiped for it. Of God, however, it says, “who sat on the throne.”
This then is referring to Jesus. It says in Hebrews 12 –
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1, 2
The “right hand of the throne of God” means the position of authority and power. It is not a physical location, but rather a designation. Further, God is Spirit and therefore doesn’t have parts. The Bible tells us that no man has seen God at any time (1 John 4:12), it also says that no man has seen nor can see God (1 Timothy 6:16).
Even Moses could only see the Lord’s glory as it passed by Him. He had to stand in the cleft of a rock, and that rock is Jesus. We can only see God’s glory if we are hidden in Christ Jesus.
Therefore, this verse in Revelation is referring to the Person of Jesus. He is the image of the invisible God according to the book of Colossians and He is the one who reveals the unseen Father to us. He is the God/Man. Therefore, the praise is directed to Him, “saying, ‘Amen! Alleluia!’”
The words speak of surety and praise. “Amen” can be paraphrased as “So let it be.” “Alleluia” means “Praise the Lord.” It is Jesus who is the Amen and to Him our praises are to be directed. The heavenly scene before John confirms this to us, setting the pattern for our own worship and praise.
For now, when the elders and living creatures fall down in worship, they first exclaim “Amen!” This is in response to the statements which come in combination to the first two “Alleluias.” Their proclamation of “Amen” is meant to emphatically confirm what has been said. This then is a resounding approval of the cries of the great multitude.
After this word of confirmation, the third “Alleluia” is uttered. This corresponds to the third cup of the Passover ceremony – the Birkat Hamazon (Grace after meals). It accompanies the thought “I will redeem.” Thus, it is the cup of redemption. Redemption is the act of re-purchasing something that was sold. Man was sold to sin through the disobedience of Adam. But God, through Jesus Christ, has redeemed man from that fallen state.
This was prefigured by God’s redemptive act on Israel when they were brought through the waters of the Red Sea, but it is realized in its fullness in the act of removing the saved believer from Babylon the great – redeeming them to God. Thus, the penalty of sin has been paid and man stands justified before God because of Jesus.
The third cup is realized in the delivery of the people from the problem of sin. As the smoke of Babylon rises forever and ever, so the greatness of the work of the Lord rises even higher.
Life application: At times, we hear people complain about God being unfair for letting little children die, for allowing cancer to take a spouse, or for some other reason that affects someone personally. But the fact is that we got ourselves into the mess that we are in. God owes us nothing. On the other hand, God has given of Himself to bring us out of this fallen state, and to restore us to Himself.
To blame God for the tragedies of the world is a foolish and selfish way of looking at our situation. When we realize that God has set forth the plan, seen it through, and will continue to see it through until restoration is realized, how can we do anything but praise Him. It is through His mighty work that man is redeemed from his fallen state. Hallelujah! Thank God for what He has done for us! Thank the Lord for JESUS!
Lord God, it is wonderful to look back on the Exodus account and see that all the things You did for Israel only prefigured what You would do for all of humanity. The state of sin which had us in bondage is removed from us when we call on Jesus. Someday we will even be from its presence when we dwell in Your presence forever! Hallelujah and Amen!