Holy, holy, holy
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty— the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come.” Revelation 4:8
During the last few days we have been challenged by the risen Lord’s messages to the seven churches. They have been extremely down to earth and have spoken directly into the lives of those very different churches. We have been given a very clear insight into their strengths and weaknesses and the sharp challenges that they had to face. But now our attention is moved from earth to heaven, and the language is dramatic and amazing. In this chapter, we meet the risen Christ sitting on a throne, surrounded by 24 thrones on which sat 24 elders.
We are then introduced to four living beings which had eyes both back and front. They had the appearance of a lion, an ox, a human face and an eagle, and they each had six wings. It’s all utterly amazing and quite unlike being on earth. But what matters is that they spent all day and night declaring: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty – the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come” (Revelation 4:8).
Through the years, people have struggled with the book of Revelation because they have wanted to know exactly who all the different people and creatures represent. But John had a deeper message than that. He wanted the church to know that however wicked people and regimes might be, and however desperate the situation might appear, God would never be defeated. He would continue to be holy for time and eternity. He would always endure, unlike human empires and governments which pass through the pages of history at astonishing speed.
Life can be bewildering and challenging for all of us. Our own circumstances are often uncertain and difficult. We live in a world where there are constant tragedies and disasters. We need to hear John’s word of encouragement that, whatever happens – however terrible, however destructive and however bleak – the Lord continues to be holy and nothing will ever change that. Rejoice, my friends, for the Lord is King. He rules for ever and ever.
In what way does the holiness of God encourage you in our very unholy and fast changing world?
Lord God Almighty, I praise you that I can join with the elders in declaring that you were holy, you are holy and you will always be holy. Amen