Friday, June 14, 2013

Pastoral Pings ~ Twenty-four-part Representation

4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads. (Revelation 4)

          I do not know how to explain it, and yet it seems that deeper things need sharing as much as higher things. There’s just something about this verse that keeps telling me how the church is represented before and around the throne of God. And, yesterday, God seemed to use the awareness of loss in this earthly life to enhance the picture of what is presently happening in heaven, and what is waiting for any of us who will one day get there.

          I often hear the complaint that there doesn’t seem to be much justice in this earthly lifetime. People seem to get away with everything they do wrong. Men wonder how to be fathers when they weren’t fathered. Women wonder how to be mothers when they weren’t mothered. Adults wonder how to grow up when there never seem to be any grown-ups in the church to give the personal attention they feel is so necessary to the maturing process.     And then, we come to elders and the famine seems all the more glaring.  

          No matter what it may have been like for anyone else, my life has been characterized by a shortage of elders. I consider the men who have gone through my children’s lives, and realize that there were no elders among them. I look in the mirror, and wonder how to become something I have never seen, except in stories.

          But then I come to the throne-room of God and marvel at this one precise sentence breathed out by God. It fits every believer of every time in every situation. You grew up without a father? Look to the heavens, there are twenty-four elders around the throne. You grew up without mentoring? Look to the throne-room of God and see your mentors ruling and reigning with Christ. You were failed by every man you have ever known? Look into the paradise glory of God’s presence and see twenty-four men, sitting on thrones, with clean hands and pure hearts, wearing priestly crowns, and be assured that your Father on the throne is fully aware of you, and your needs, and your condition.

          I fear to think of these elders with names, or to separate them into dispensations of time or covenant. I fear to detract from their gift by adding words to this book. There is a reason that God wants it on the hearts of his children that there are twenty-four elders around his throne, sitting on thrones, clothed in white, wearing crowns. Look at what they do every time the four living creatures announce the glory of God’s holiness. See them fall down before this glorious throne of God, throwing down their own crowns in reverential submission to the far greater throne, and far greater crown.

          The message is clear: those who know God best bow down to worship him. They do not complain about his injustice, his tardiness, his favoritism, his partiality. They do not denounce his sovereignty, or berate his majesty. They do not question his promises, his integrity, or his covenant. They know him far better than ourselves, and yet judge nothing negative against him. He has earned from these elders such worship that can only be expressed as: “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”[1]

          We have twenty-four elders telling us that, if we really knew the God on the throne, and we really saw him without the sarky filters that blind and deceive us, we would fall on our faces before him in wonder at his steadfast love and faithfulness radiating from a throne founded on eternal justice and righteousness.

          In the meantime, we meditate on God’s word, and we let the words of Revelation 4 permeate our hearts and minds. No matter what things look like here in this earthly lifetime, there are twenty-four elders around the throne of God representing us to the Father, and so overwhelmed by his glorious care of his people that they find their greatest joy in continually worshiping the unending source of their joy.

          Let the testimony that these elders are so wonderfully resting in the pleasures that are at God’s right hand forevermore give you hope that the wisdom of God in any step he is asking you to take today is worthy of worship by those who see him best.

          From my heart,


© 2013 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8 ~
Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.)

[1] Revelation 4:11

No comments:

Post a Comment