Bible Book: Revelation / Openbaring
Verse (to): 11
Text: Revelations 4
The seventh letter with which Revelations concludes, ends with the promise that believers who gain the victory (who “overcome”) will sit with Christ on his throne, as He went to sit down with his Father on the throne (Rev 3:21). I can imagine that for many Christian believers in Asia Minor during the first century this wonderful promise stood in stark contrast with what they experienced daily. They were often victimised and even persecuted because of their faith. The only visible and tangible reality of somebody who sat on the throne was the Emperor who ruled with an iron hand.
That is why it is so striking that the promises with which chapter 3 conclude are followed up with a vision (chapter 4) of the actual throne and the confirmation that it is not the Emperor, but the Lord who sits on the throne.
To know that the Lord is sitting on the throne has been a source of comfort – an anchor during times of uncertainty – for believers as far back as the Old Testament. This was the firm rock that remained standing above the world’s waves of uncertainty, injustice, hardship and disasters. That is why, as early as Psalm 11 , we find a believer who dismisses the advice to flee to the mountains (because the wicked were gaining the upper hand to such an extent that the community’s foundations were starting to shake): “The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord is on his heavenly throne. He observes the sons of men; his eyes examine them” (Ps 11:4).
During the past weeks, we have been reminded in various ways of the seriousness of the health crisis in which South Africa is finding itself. Think about the two statistical reports on the causes of death (confirming the horrific extent of HIV-related diseases) and the spread of a resistant TB variant. The fact that these serious news were apparently minimized by news about the escalation in violence and political upheaval, only serves to disturb one even more.
So it is good to spend time with Revelations 4 right now. To discover and proclaim like the poet of Psalm 11, in the midst of all the upsetting news reports, “The Lord is on his heavenly throne!”
Does this have any meaning for our daily lives? The believer of Psalm 11 says: “For the LORD is righteous, he loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold his face” (verse 7).
Author: N du Toit (Ds)