“The twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 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.” (Revelation 4:9-11, ESV).
The twenty-four elders may represent the orders of priests serving in the Old Testament temple or they may symbolize the unity of God’s people as encompassing the twelve tribes of Old Testament Israel and the twelve apostles of the New Testament church–like the new Jerusalem’s twelve gates and twelve foundations in Revelation 21. Their thrones resemble those of God’s heavenly court in Daniel 7.
Some scholars even believe that these elders are angelic beings. But, whether angelic or redeemed human beings, these elders recognize that God exerts His sovereign will in creating and sustaining all things and they cast their crowns before Him in an expression of submission to His divine authority.
They worship God for His eternal perfection and creative achievement and their song of praise is a prelude to a “new song” in Revelation 5 that extols God and the Lamb for the redemption of mankind, which is the the culmination of their divine worthiness.
Let us, even while still in this life, cast our crowns–that is, our achievements, our successes, our triumphs, our accomplishments–in submission before the One who sits upon the throne and has redeemed us, recognizing that He is our enabler; He is our source or strength and power; He is the One to whom we owe everything.
He alone is worthy and to Him we offer the sacrifice of everything we have and are and are becoming. And, to Him only do we give glory and honor and praise. Amen.
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13, ESV)
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