November 28, 2011

Tuesday after the First Sunday in Advent

Lectionary

Morning - Ps. 7, Is. 1:21-28, Mark 1:14-28
Evening - Ps. 11, 12, Is, 2:1-5, Rev. 4

Commentary
Revelation 4

The theme of Revelation 4 is the absolute glory of God. He sits enthroned in glory (4:2-3). He is surrounded by elders wearing golden crowns and sparkling white robes, and seated on thrones (4:4). Thunder and lightning and voices come from the throne, as do seven immense, burning lamps of fire that symbolise the perfection of the Holy Spirit (4:5). He is worshiped and obeyed by great and powerful beings (4:6-8). And when they give thanks and worship to God the elders fall down before Him in worship, saying, "Thou art worthy, O Lord" (4:10).

Everything about this chapter is intended to show the immeasurable power and glory of God. Earthly empires wax and wane. Kings and rulers "take counsel together against the Lord, and against his Anointed" (Ps. 2:2). But God is so far above them He rules Heaven in perfect peace, as though the rebellious and unGodly on earth do not even exist.

The elders also exist in peace. Probably representing Christians who have died in the persecution, they dwell under the "defense of the Most High," and abide "under the shadow of the Almighty" in the rich security of the presence of God, where none of their earthly tormentors can reach them. "He shall call upon me, and I will hear him; yea, I am with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and bring him to honour, with long [eternal] life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation" (Ps. 91:15 and 16). White robes were promised to those who overcome persecution by remaining faithful unto Christ (Rev. 2:10).

Verse 11 conveys an important message to those who remain in danger on earth. This wonderful Being, adored by the creatures and enthroned in glory, is the Creator of all that is. Everything exists by and for Him, including those who persecute His Church on earth. Let not those who oppose His Church and kill His people think they are immune to His justice or able to deliver themselves from His wrath. Nothing can hide them from His all-seeing eyes, or save them from His hand. The persecutors will fall, but He abides forever.