Saturday, December 14, 2013

Worthy are You, Our Creator

While working on our next study guide, “Worship in the Bible,” I came across this description of worship in heaven:
And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying, “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.”
(Revelation 4:9–11)

Revelation 4 describes many elements of this heavenly worship that you would expect.  There are thrones, living creatures, and elders.  There is an unending time of worship around the throne of God.  There is praise and adoration as the elders proclaim that God is worthy to receive “glory and honor and power.”

What you might not expect is the basis for God to be worthy of this praise.  You might expect the basis for “glory and honor and power” to be God’s love or mercy or holiness or wisdom.  Instead, CREATION is the foundation upon which God is worthy.  Read that proclamation again:

“Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.”

No wonder there is such an aggressive attack against creation.  By the act of creation God is distinguished from every other entity that has ever existed.  There is one CREATOR and many, many creations.

This essential truth, that God created all things, that He alone is the Creator, is woven throughout the Bible.  The foundational truth of creation is proclaimed, not only by the elders in heaven, but also by Prophets, Kings, Apostles, and our Lord Jesus Christ.  Here are a few examples:

Moses – Genesis 5:1–2
This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created.

King David – Psalm 33:6–9
By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, And by the breath of His mouth all their host. He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; He lays up the deeps in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the LORD; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.

Isaiah – Isaiah 40:25–28
“To whom then will you liken Me That I would be his equal?” says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high And see who has created these stars, The One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of is power, Not one of them is missing. Why do you say, O Jacob, and assert, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD, And the justice due me escapes the notice of my God”? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth Does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable.

Jesus – Matthew 19:3–5
Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?” And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH’?”

Paul – Colossians 1:16
For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.

Peter – 1 Peter 4:19
Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.

Notice Peter’s encouragement to his readers.  Even in difficult times we are able to trust God completely because He is a “faithful Creator.” 

The example above from Isaiah 40:25–28 also talked about being strong based on our dependence upon “The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth.”  Isaiah 40:29–31 continues with a promise that even in our weakness we can gain strength through faith in the eternal Creator:

He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly, Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.
(Isaiah 40:29–31)

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