And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. (Revelation 5:8-9)
In John’s vision of the throne room of God , the holy Cherubim, and the 24 elders join in a hymn of worship to the Sovereign God who is worthy of all glory, honor and power. The elders throw down their crowns and prostrate themselves in adoration before Him who sits upon the throne.
This is the original song of worship, it is Ancient, universal, and it is the primal exaltation. “You are worthy O Lord to recieve Glory,Honor and power…”! The basis for the worthiness? “For Thou hast Created all things…”. This is the song of worship to our Creator.
God created us, the world we live in, and sustains it and us, and everything we know and love. All creation owes Him worship and acknowledgement, and it would be the heighth of impiety and arrogance to refuse to worship Him.
What is the very essence of sin and evil, according to the Word of God? Sin is deeper than this or that wrongdoing, it is nothing less than the refusal to glorify God, and acknowledge him as creator and sustainer. All evil flows out of this refusal.
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.(Romans 1:21)
At the center of the Throne room of God, we have a scene of Angels and men joined together in worship and acknowledgement of God as Creator of all things, and as the purpose for which all things were created.
…And for thy pleasure, they are created…
But we find that the old song is not enough…Men should indeed worship their creator, they owe him the duty of worshipful acknowledgement,they should remember that He it is who made us, and not we ourselves…
However we have fallen since God made us. We refused to give him glory, and consequently have sinned against his holiness, and deserve to die. “The wages of sin is death…”.
Even if we did repent and go back to singing the old song, realizing and acknowledging God as Creator again, and our debt of love and worship to him, what about our sins?
What about the broken Law of God ? Or the offended holiness of God? We have destroyed the Image of God, we have rebelled against his Holy order! Merely returning to an acknowledgement of God as creator is inadequate.
In Revelation 5 are given a new Song which answers to these problems caused by our fall into sin and depravity. In the new Song sung in the very throne room of God, lies an adequate, complete answer to the human dilemma.
“You are worthy… because Thou hast Created all things…” goes the old song, but the new song adds, “You are worthy…because you were slain and have redeemed us unto God by your blood…”.
We never stop singing the old song, for God is ever worthy to be worshipped and adored, as Creator of all things. But we must sing unto the Lord the new song, extolling the one who was slain for us, and purchased us by his own blood, that we might be made righteous, fitted for heaven,sons of God!
There is a powerless “civic” religion, which indeed acknowledges God as Creator, but not as Redeemer, which confesses creaturely dependence, but not sinful guilt and the desperate need for pardon.
The difference between the two is the difference between Cain and Abel. Cain acknowledged by his offering that the fruit of the ground was blessed by God, and that he needed God’s blessing to grow his crops. He sang the old song.
But Abel, with the broken, bleeding body of the best of the flock, in his trembling and bloody hands, confessed that he was a sinner, worthy of death, and that only an innocent substitute for him could ever make him right again. He was singing the new song.
“ Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
To receive power and riches and wisdom,
And strength and honor and glory and blessing!”
Thus the testimony of the throne room of God is that the Creator is the Redeemer also, and that the Sovereign God for whose very pleasure were all things created, is at the same time the Lamb bearing the marks of slaughter.
We see in the very throne room of God that the center of reality is the sovereignty of God the Creator. But deeper into the center of all reality is God himself as sacrificial, forgiving and self giving love.Hallelujah to the Lamb forever and ever!