YOU ARE WORTHY … Revelation 4:8-11

The vision of God on his throne is an audio-visual extravaganza. It is filled with sound and brilliant light and colour. It is over-powering [4:1-8].

Yet through all of this John heard clearly the never ceasing praise spoken by the four living creatures – 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come' [verse 8] as they gave glory, honour and thanks to God; and he heard clearly the never ceasing response of the twenty-four elders, worshipping the God who lives for ever and ever:

'You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honour and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they were created
and have their being' [verse 11].

Over and over the four living creatures are saying 'holy, holy, holy ...' and over and over the twenty-four elders are saying 'You are worthy …'

This 'you are worthy' has a specific focus: God is worthy to receive glory and honour and power. That is, God is worthy to be glorified, exalted. God is worthy to be honoured. God is worthy to be acknowledged as the all-powerful one.  Only this God, the one who sits on the throne, is worthy of this glory, honour and power. This God, and no other.

The reason that this God and no other is worthy is stated clearly: 'for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being'. This simple, but immense, statement informs us:

That this God, and no other, created all that exists, that everything that exists owes its existence, its being, to him.

That this creative action of God was neither a necessary action nor a spontaneous action: it was a deliberate determination, an action of will, an action of choice. God did not need to create the universe and everything in it, but he decided to. God did not automatically create as an inevitable expression of his nature: rather, he willed, he chose, to create.

That the continued existence, the continued being, of the universe and all that is in it, is totally dependent on God.

That our existence and our continued being are therefore sheer gift issuing from the decision and will of God: a gift of grace.

The fact that God is the creator of all things renders every human being accountable, placing on every human being the responsibility of acknowledging this God. This God alone is the creator. This God alone is worthy to receive human praise and human allegiance. No other god created anything, because this God created everything. Indeed, no other 'god' exists, because this God created all that exists, and he denies the real existence of any other 'god'.

How foolish those who say there is no God [Psalm 14:1] and therefore do not worship God!
How foolish those who create other 'gods' and worship them [Isaiah 44:6-20]!

Here in this vision in Revelation 4 the whole of heaven is pulsating with the power, holiness and glory of the one who sits on the throne. Here the whole of heaven is resounding with the affirmation 'You are worthy …'  Here every human being is challenged: be sure, be very sure, that you are giving praise and worship to the God who really is God, the creator of all, for he alone is worthy.

© Rosemary Bardsley 2015