Summary: God reveals his character to us as we see the heavenly throne through the vision of John in Revelation - the result for us ought to be unabashed worship!
Our God is an awesome God
He reigns from heaven above
With wisdom, power, and love
Our God is an awesome God
Have you discovered how awesome God is? Have you seen the magnificence of the King of Kings with the eyes of your heart? This morning, with hushed silence, we will enter into one of the most sacred scenes in the Bible – the Lord on his throne, praised before the heavenly beings. It’s otherworldly – amazing – awesome. For in this scene we see the Lord and a portion of his awesome character.
Let’s take a peek at this from Revelation 4:2-6 and as I read it, I encourage you to close your eyes and imagine exactly what is being read.…
1. The first picture of our awesome God we see is the Sovereign Lord and King (2)
There is one throne and only one seated there. “Throne” is a key word in this chapter and in the whole book of Revelation appearing almost 50 times. Why? What does a throne represent? What does it communicate? Authority! God is the boss. He’s number #1. Whoever is on the throne has the last word.
On Wednesday we watched another tour from the Truth Project and people were coming up with their definitions of God. And one man, a tattoo artist said that he is his own god. He controls what he does and he is the one that makes himself successful. He has sadly been deceived as have many people in this world.
The throne is filled and not by you or I. The throne is filled by the God the Father (the Son approaches in 5:6). How dare we place ourselves on that throne? How dare we cast him down below us – take his place and rule where he belongs? The throne says to us: There is a God and I am not Him! Bow before God’s throne. Submit before God’s throne. Humble yourself before God’s throne.
2. The throne is an awesome picture of God but let’s go farther. Did you hear what it said in verse 3? “And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald.” The Lord is BEAUTIFUL!
This is a very unusual description – you would never describe a person in this way. In fact there is no person described – no eyes, arms, legs, hair. This is God the Father who is spirit. How is he depicted? Words probably failed John as he saw the Lord in all of his splendor. All he can do is compare to some of the most colorful and sparkling stones he knows. Jasper – green but crystal clear green as he is described in Revelation 21:11. And also a stone called carnelian or sardius. It’s a red quartz crystal.
Commentators have hay-day trying to come up with the symbolism of these stones – but it seems that the main message here is simply that the Lord is awesome in beauty. And why wouldn’t he be?
What is beauty? Webster’s: “whatever excites the keenest of pleasure to the senses and stirs emotion through the senses” The Lord stirs our senses and emotions as no-one and nothing can! Everything beautiful is simply a foretaste of God.
I remember a vacation many years ago at Lake Louise in Canada. It’s a lake fed by glaciers high up in the Rockies. And I’ll never forget walking up the trail through the trees and then suddenly seeing the most beautiful scene I had ever seen in my life. Crystal water the color of turquoise. Mountains on all sides topped with snow - a glacier at the far end melting into the lake. It took my breath away.
If Lake Louise is that breathtaking and awesome, how beautiful is its creator going to be? the one who created every flower, every sunset, ever sparkling star, and every beautiful child. God is for us the definition of beauty!
Around his throne is an emerald green rainbow – Green possibly speaking of life that flows out of him to all the universe and the rainbow reminding us of God’s great mercy after the flood. Do you see this mighty God on the throne? Can you even begin to imagine such beauty?
I think of the Keith Green Song:
“Oh, Lord, you’re beautiful.
Your face is all I seek.
And when your eyes are on this child.
Your grace abounds to me!”
3. Beauty isn’t the only thing we see as we look toward the throne – we also experience the power and judgment of the Almighty God (5a).
In verse 5 John tells us what he sees: “From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder.” When the Israelites escaped from Egypt and finally reached Mount Sinai God’s glory came down to the mountain to reveal himself to Israel and it says in Exodus 19:16-17 “On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled. Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain.”