Revelation 5:8–14 (NKJV)
After the Lamb took the scroll to open it, the picture begins to unfold of the reaction to His worthiness and the resulting revelation of end times events.
8 Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song, saying:
“You are worthy to take the scroll,Revelation 5:8-10
And to open its seals;
For You were slain,
And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
10 And have made us kings and priests to our God;
And we shall reign on the earth.”
When Jesus the Lamb took the scroll, worship erupted in heaven. The previously described scene included the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders. They each had a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which represented the prayers of the saints. They sang a song of praise to the Lamb, lauding His ability to take the scroll and open its seals. They rehearse the events of His being killed, and subsequently redeeming mankind by His blood. In response to His awesome and glorious act of redemption, people out of every tribe, tongue, people, and nation will repent and be saved. Salvation qualifies the redeemed to serve as kings and priests to God, and to reign upon the earth. This specific result will appear when Jesus sets up His kingdom on earth in the millennial reign. However, serving as priests is a current function in all periods of the church age, as God has called us to intervene, bringing men and women to God.
11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice:
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slainRevelation 5:11-12
To receive power and riches and wisdom,
And strength and honor and glory and blessing!”
The second act of worship to the Lamb comes from the multitude of angels around the throne. Their voices are heard after the creatures and the elders began to worship God, and they all then joined together as a mighty chorus, thousands of thousands strong. They said in a deafening tone, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain.” He is worthy to receive a litany of blessings, including power, riches, wisdom, strength, honor, glory, and blessing. While several of these things are closely related, they have subtle distinctions that help define the greatness of the Lord. Ironically, the Lord already possesses all of these attributes, but the worshippers wish to confer them upon the Lamb anyway.
Power and strength are sister attributes, signifying the supernatural ability of the Lamb, with power over death and hell, and strength to carry His people in their time of weakness or trouble. Honor and glory are both attributes of greatness, and descriptors of the Lord observed by His people. Riches are perhaps physical and supernatural. God does not need our money, but He does use resources to carry out His work on earth. We see the benefit of His provision for us on earth, but we also see His vast riches in the spiritual realm as well. Wisdom is God’s inherently, and blessing is substantive when coming from God to man, but simply descriptive honor when coming from man to God. All these attributes are already resident within God, but mankind should recognize and praise God for them.
13 And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying:
“Blessing and honor and glory and power
Be to Him who sits on the throne,
And to the Lamb, forever and ever!”
14 Then the four living creatures said, “Amen!” And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever.Revelation 5:13-14
In this last scene, every creature in heaven and on earth joins in the worship chorus lauding the Lamb, indicative of the fulfillment of Philippians 2 prophecy that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. Everyone, in this great chorus, gives the Lamb blessing, honor, glory, and power, along with their praise of the One Who sits on throne. After this lavish expression of praise and worship, the four living creatures respond with the universal affirmation, “Amen,” signifying their approval. Then the twenty-four elders fall down and worship Him who lives forever. This overwhelming display of worship is just a taste of what will go on in heaven for eternity. The awesome presence of God will draw men and women, and creatures supernatural, into a worship posture. We will respond almost involuntarily to the glory and presence of God. We will want to do nothing else but worship the Lord. That is how great He is, and that is how we should clothe our words and actions on a daily basis. We serve a mighty God, and our lives should show our recognition for that fact. He is worthy!