“Who is worthy ….?” This is a key question for us in our readings in the book of Revelation today. In reading this final book in God’s word, our minds can get ‘bogged down’ in debating the meaning of individual details, but it is spiritually invaluable to gain the overall spirit – and wonder – of this final message/vision which our Saviour – has given to us. We have come to think of the visions in Revelation from ch. 4 onwards as rather like walking around a round house and often viewing largely the same scene from different perspectives.
A “mighty angel” poses the question, “Who is worthy?” [ch. 5 v.2] The first answer is in the last verse of chapter 4. “”Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honour and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”
There are “24 elders” who “fell down before the Lamb … And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” [5 v.9,10]
Our minds, or rather our hearts, cannot truly absorb the reality of this. But we must try, remembering what we read last Wednesday in Zephaniah, “Seek the LORD, all you humble … who do his just commands; seek righteousness; seek humility; perhaps you may be hidden on the day of the anger of the LORD.” [2 v.3]
Back in Revelation John tells us he hears “the voice of many angels … saying … “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honour and glory and blessing!” [v.12] These are seven things the Lord is worthy to receive. We are also in awed meditation of the situation and experience of those “who (are worthy) to share(s) in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.” [20 v.6]
They (us !?)will surely experience in some measure – worthiness – the same as “the lamb” is “worthy” to receive. Finally, we meditate on what is recorded at the end of this inspiring final book of the Bible. John says, “I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away” [21 v.1] when “The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.” [v.7]
Let us live today – and all the days of our mortality yet to come – fully conscious in our hearts (not just our minds) that “the one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life.” [Rev 3 v.5] and such will be counted as “worthy” to reign with “the Lamb.”