Revelation 7:9-17 (NRSV)
Verse 9After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. Verse 10They cried out in a loud voice, saying, "Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!" Verse 11And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, Verse 12singing, "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen."
Verse 13Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, "Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?" Verse 14I said to him, "Sir, you are the one that knows." Then he said to me, "These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Verse 15For this reason they are before the throne of God, and worship him day and night within his temple, and the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them. Verse 16They will hunger no more, and thirst no more; the sun will not strike them, nor any scorching heat; Verse 17for the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of the water of life, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."
Theme for this week: Praise for the experience of God’s goodness
This has to be one of my very favorite passages in the book of Revelation. There’s a kind of totality of worship here, as the nations of the world absolutely pour themselves out in praise. These voices are from all nations, tribes, peoples, and languages. More than that, they come from heaven itself, where all the angels surrounding the elders and the four strange living creatures that we cannot know or understand also fall down on their faces and worship. It’s like the writer cannot find words sufficient to describe all the depth of this worship, so he heaps up terms—“blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might.” And this goes on all the time, day and night. This passage intends to be inclusive, and if we aren’t careful (!), even we disciples of this current age may well find our hearts joined with theirs in this total praise of our Savior God.
Holy Spirit of the Living God, use the witness of the gospel and the testimony of the saints to stir in us, too, the joy of praising you with the hosts in heaven and on earth. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.