Saturday, 31 October 2020
Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, Revelation 4:9
John just said that the four living creatures do not rest, both day and night, as they praise the Lord God almighty. Now, it says, “Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks.” The Greek is in the future tense. It more rightly says, “Whenever the living creatures shall give…” Taking the thoughts from the two verses together from English versions, it seems to say that this is an endless cycle – praise and then result; praise and then result.
And it is true that this is something that will occur forever, but the wording in English translations fails to give the full sense. The word “whenever” is the Greek word hotan, (at the time when the condition is met). Thus, this doesn’t indicate a rote form of worship, but rather it comes at different levels, and it occurs periodically but continuously.
Whenever these living creatures give glory – at any time, be it day or night – then the words here will come to pass. They shall give (future tense) doxan, or “glory.” This word forms our word “doxology.” Thayer’s Lexicon says this is to “give or describe glory to God, why and how being evident from each case in the context: thus by declaring one’s gratitude to God for a benefit received.”
They also give timen, or “honor.” This is described as “the honor which one has by reason of rank and state of office which he holds.”
And, they also give eucharistan, or “thanks.” This forms our word “Eucharist.” The case in which this word is used indicates “the giving of thanks for God’s grace” (HELPS Word Studies).
Each of these is directed “to Him who sits on the throne.” The verb “sits” is a present participle. For all eternity, meaning the ages of ages, what is described here shall come to pass. As was previously explained, this is speaking of Jesus. He stated it in verse 3:9 –
“To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”
To confirm that this is speaking of Jesus, John adds in another descriptor, saying it is He “who lives forever and ever.” That is explained by Jesus in verse 1:18 (and elsewhere) –
“I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore.”
Life application: A similar phase to the one in this verse is used several other times in the book of Revelation. The point being made is that God has determined that Jesus Christ is to be the focal point for all of humanity to praise Him. Jesus Christ is the one who makes all things new.
We normally have the human form of Jesus firmly fixed in our minds, and when we hear that glorious and exalted name, it is this human form that we tend to mentally reflect on. But Jesus Christ is also fully God and He is the “image of the invisible God.” In other words, all of the glory of God is revealed through the Person of Jesus Christ. Every good and wonderful thing we see with our eyes came from God, and it is therefore only a minute reflection of the infinite glory of our Creator – the Creator who is our eternally glorious and worthy Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
May we never fail to remember that He is wholly worthy of our glory, honor, and thanks. He is great. He is glorious. He is JESUS.
What an amazing and glorious King of the Universe is revealed to us in the pages of the book of Revelation. If the heavenly creatures stand in awe of the splendor of the Lord, how much more should we. Let us never forget that the One who washed the dirty feet of the disciples is also the Lord of all Creation. He is Jesus. Hallelujah and Amen!