Summary: A communion meditation reminding the Church to never lose the wonder of the mercy of God.

The Reminder in the Rainbow

Rev. 4:1-11 & Genesis 9:12-17

Sermon Objective: A communion meditation to remind the Church to never lose the wonder of the mercy of God.

Genesis 9:12-17

12 And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth."

17 So God said to Noah, "This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth."

Rev. 4:1-11

1After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this." 2At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. 3And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne. 4Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. 5From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. 6Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.

In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. 7The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. 8Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come." 9Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, 10the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: 11"You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being."


As John enters the vision’s hall his eyes are instinctively drawn to the throne where the splendor of God radiates in a gem-like manner. A polished pavement stretches out before the throne like the waters of a crystal sea and the flames of seven torches burning before the throne illuminate the hall. Four strange six-winged couriers attend to the Sovereign. The voices of the creatures soar above all other sounds as they sing praises to the Almighty and their song is picked up by the other attendants who rise from their thrones and bow before God’s throne, casting their crowns before Him.

God is central to this vision. MORE SPECIFICALLY, GOD AS CREATOR AND SOVEREIGN IS CENTRAL TO THE VISION. His presence is the radiant point around which the galaxy of other heavenly beings revolve; yet his appearance eludes direct description. This portrayal of the throne room preserves the mystery and transcendence, so that readers recognize that God is not merely a human being writ large. The scene shows that, in the proper order of things, all creation is oriented toward the Creator. { Craig Koester: “Revelation and the End of All Things” }

Our problems with the Book of the Revelation begin when we allow other things … sensationalistic things … to grab our attention rather than the Sovereign God. In fact, nothing in the book is as “sensational” as God and all attention should be focused there.

This vision provides beautiful imagery which illustrates God’s nature and His relationship with creation. AND, AT TIMES, THE IMAGERY WE PASS OVER WEAKENS US BECAUSE WE FAIL TO GRASP THE GRANDEUR OF GOD.

As we have been discovering, there are some central elements in this chapter that must not be overlooked if we are to properly understand the remainder of John’s vision. For example, in the midst of the sea of glass, the throne, and the worshipping creatures there is another image which may very well hint at the creatures’ motivation for praise … did you catch it in verses 4 and 5? I am certain you did.

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