February 6, 2017
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
We are looking at Revelation Praise! from Revelation 7:9-12 – one of the greatest passages of praise in our Bible!
…behold, a great multitude, which no one could number, of all nations,
tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and…the Lamb,
clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying
with a loud voice…“Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb!” And all the angels…and the elders and the four living
creatures…fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying,
“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and
power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”
We’ve looked at the first four verses of our featured Scripture, but we have not yet gotten into the seven-fold praise (verse 12) offered “…to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (verse 10), and offered by “…a great multitude, which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues…[and] all the angels…and the elders and the four living creatures…” (verses 9 & 11).
• “Amen!…Amen.” – There are only four other Scriptures in our Bible where there is a double Amen (see Numbers 5:22; Nehemiah 8:6, Psalm 41:13; 72:19). Strong (in his Greek Dictionary) tells us that Amen means “…properly firm, that is, (figuratively) trustworthy; adverbially surely (often as interjection) so be it….” Used just one time per context (70 times in the King James Version) it means you can trust what is being said as the truth! But Amen used twice in the same context, you can really trust what is being said – absolutely!
• “Blessing…” (Greek, ευ’λογια) – This word is only used when it is applied to God, either blessing coming from Him or going to Him. If going to Him from His children, it means adoration. The Christmas carol Joy To The World invites us three times in the chorus, “…come, let us adore Him.” Do you adore God? For He adores you! (See John 3:16; I John 3:1, 16).
• “…and glory…” (Greek, δo’ξα) – Strong says that glory means just that, but very apparently! The word is also translated, dignity, glorious, honor, praise, and worship. How great is God’s glory? Moses, after Israel fell into blatant idolatry in Exodus 32, needed the assurance of God’s presence for himself and the nation (see Exodus 33:12-16). So he made this bold request: “Please, show me Your glory.” (Exodus 33:18). But because of God’s shining (shekinah) glory, He told Moses, “You cannot see My face [looking straight on at His glory]; for no man shall see Me, and live.” (Exodus 33:20). Why? I Timothy 6:16 has the answer: God dwells “…in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see….” In our present mortal state – infected by sin as we are – our bodies would be destroyed in God’s unapproachable presence!
In a sense, this is what will happen when we see Jesus “…face to face…” (I Corinthians 13:12). According to Philippians 3:21, He will have transformed “…our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body.” Our old sinful nature will be gone, our physical bodies will be adapted to perfect spiritual living forever, and “…we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is…” (I John 3:2), in all His glory! All glory to our God and to the Lamb!
• “…and wisdom…” (Greek, σoφι’α) – Some modern Bible scholars have given this name (pronounced ‘Sophia’) to the Holy Spirit. For in the Old Testament wisdom is often presented with similar attributes as the Holy Spirit in the New (see for instance Proverbs 1:20-33). Strong describes it as high spiritual wisdom. I have come up with a simple definition for wisdom (comparing it to knowledge):
✞ Knowledge is knowing the facts!
✞ Wisdom is properly applying those facts to life!
Of course, God properly and perfectly applies all the facts (both actual and possible) in existence to our lives and His glory! (See Romans 8:28). So in praise, all wisdom can be ascribed to Him!
We will finish Revelation Praise! in our next blog.