The Adoration Of God The Creator: An Exposition Of Revelation 4 -- By: David J. MacLeod

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 164:654 (Apr 2007)
Article: The Adoration Of God The Creator: An Exposition Of Revelation 4
Author: David J. MacLeod


The Adoration Of God The Creator: An Exposition Of Revelation 4

David J. MacLeod

David J. MacLeod is Dean for Biblical Studies, Emmaus Bible College, Dubuque, Iowa, and Associate Editor, The Emmaus Journal.

This is the first article in a three-part series on Revelation 4–5, “Worship in Heaven.”

Christina Rossetti (1830–1894), Victorian poet and hymn writer, said, “Heaven is revealed to earth as the homeland of music.”1 This is surely the testimony of the Book of Revelation.2 “It is filled with the atmosphere of worship. It contains numerous

hymns and dwells on the theme of adoration more than any other book of the New Testament.”3 Commenting on the pervasiveness of worship in the book, Peterson writes, “Essentially, that is what Revelation is—an act of worship that calls others into the act of worship. On the first page we see John at worship, ‘I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day’ (1:10). On the last page, we see John, momentarily distracted by the angel, commanded back to the center: ‘Worship God,’ he is told (22:9). Between that first and last page we have scene after scene of robust worship—the sights and sounds pulling together everything in heaven and earth, in creation and Cross, in history and salvation—all involving us in worship.”4

What is true of the book as a whole is particularly true of chapters 4 and 5.5 Koester notes that many readers “miss the importance of this passage. Seeking to learn ‘what must take place after this’ (4:1), they quickly move on to the seven seals in chapter 6, where portents of disaster loom large. When John sees ‘what must take place after this,’ however, the first vision consists not of disaster but of worship.”6 John’s readers were confronted by two cultural conditions that are common today as well. They had

teachers who were trivializing the gospel by aberrant teachings, promoting a...

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