A Greater Hope
When the world seems chaotic and there seems to be dissension everywhere we look, the Church has a greater hope.
A couple of years ago I, the Student Ministry Team, and 200+ high school students and leaders were in Holland, MI at a conference called CIY MOVE. One of the things I most love about going to CIY MOVE each summer is watching high school students worship together. This particular night was awesome. Our friends were leading us in worship and all of a sudden…the power went out. I mean, total darkness and silence in the arena. And then, stepping forward on the stage, the worship leader started strumming his guitar and thousands of voices began singing. It was an amazing moment to take in.
Revelation chapters 4 and 5 paint a similar picture. Similar in the fact that we get from John this picture of what worship in Heaven looks like. Today, people worship many things. As of late, we have tragically seen the worship of mankind in the form of politics and who is in power. This is actually what was happening in John’s day too. The Roman empire was in control and a man named Domitian was on the throne. With John being the last remaining apostle, God’s people wondered what their fate was going to be. And what does John say when Jesus reveals heaven to him? That God is on the throne and Jesus is worthy of our worship. That’s good news for them and for us today too. When the world seems chaotic and there seems to be dissension everywhere we look, the Church has a greater hope. Our King sits on a throne and He is worshipped day and night because He is worthy and He is in control. Look at Revelation 4:6 again.
“Also in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.”
Symbolism is important in Revelation. For Jewish people, the sea symbolizes chaos, evil, and death. Pay attention to where John sees the sea in Revelation 4…it’s in front of the throne and it’s still, clear as crystal. God has calmed the chaos and evil; He’s done away with death. This verse answers the question our hearts and minds ask, “Who’s in charge; who reigns?” It’s God, it’s always been God.
Days when we feel anxious, angry, sad, worried, and apathetic the cure is worship. What’s happening in Revelation 4-5 is what sets the stage for the rest of the book – and the truth found throughout is that who we worship is who we claim is in control. I claim that God is in control. What about you?
“Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb, be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!’ The four living creatures said, ‘Amen,’ and the elders fell down and worshiped.”