Summary of passage: John sees four living creatures with 6 wings and eyes all around. They never stopped praising God. The 24 elders fall down as well and worship him forever and ever, saying God is worthy of worship as the Creator of all things.
8a) Holy, holy, holy means God is infinitely holy.
b) Lord God Almighty–in Greek it means “one who has his hand on everything” (Revelation 1:8). Yahweh is “who was and is and is to come.” (Revelation 1:8) Almighty refers to God’s wholeness as the Triune God and how he is fully God always.
c) Who was, and is, and is to come means God has always existed and will always exist.
9) Part personal Question. My answer: Giving glory to God means worshiping Him as the Creator, acknowledging that He is the source of everything you do and everything you are humbly, and being grateful for it. Paul says in Romans to do God’s will and remember we are His and are created for worship. Ephesians reminds us to live with a grateful heart as we praise God through singing hymns and doing everything in His name with thanks.
I am giving God the glory for all. I am powerless on my own. I pray for God’s will to be done in my life. I listen and respond. I worship and express gratitude at my complete inability to do anything without Him.
Note: 1 Chronicles 29:11-13 is David’s famous prayer of humility and giving God all the glory for everything.
Conclusions: Would still like to explore the living creatures more. Awesome passage in the Bible. One of my favorites. We see we were created by God for God to worship Him and we see in heaven complete and total worship of Him.
End Notes: Four living creatures full of eyes are cherubim (Ezekiel 1:4-14; 10:20-22). The eyes show their intelligence all their job is to worship the Lord. Satan used to be one of these (Ezekiel 28:14).
The cherubim each had 4 faces (Ezekiel 1:6-10). The four faces have dozens of interpretations such as the elements, the cardinal virtues, the faculties and powers of the human soul, the patriarchal churches, the great apostles, the orders of churchmen, the principle angels, etc.
Some say they represent Jesus. Some say they represent the 4 gospels and Jesus’ characteristics. Some harken back to the tribes of Israel as they encamped around the tabernacle. All 4 represent the pinnacle of their world–lion king of wild animals, eagle king of birds, ox strongest of domesticated animals, and man king of intelligence and animals.
The triple repetition of “holy” is rare in Hebrew and meant to call attention to God’s holiness. It is the only characteristic of God repeated 3 times. Never do we see in the bible “love, love, love” or “anger, anger, anger”. God wants us to know above all else He is HOLY. It’s His authority and power emphasized here.
Isaiah 6:2-3 repeats these words but the creatures are called seraphs. Psalm 99:1-9 also says God’s holiness above all else.
The 24 elders are either human or angels. Either way they represent man (12 tribes and 12 apostles–all of Israel and all of the Church) or divisions of the priests (1 Chronicles 24). Most scholars think they are human in glory (the white). Believers will be crowned (1 Corinthians 9:25; 2 Timothy 4:8; 1 Peter 5:4). Saints have white robes (Revelation 6:11, 7:9, 13-14). Thus, man is joint heirs with Christ, sitting on lesser thrones in heaven (Romans 8:17, 2 Timothy 2:12).
Next, we see the Lord WORTHY. The 24 elders all wearing crowns symbolizing their authority lay down their crowns, giving God all authority under heaven.
Can you see it? The living creatures are crying out God’s holiness and in response the 24 elders fall down before God and proclaim His infinite glory and worthiness and power. This scene never stops repeating itself.
In days of old, lesser personages would lay down their crowns at the feet of rulers as a sign of submission. In Roman times, the emperor would then give the crowns back to these lesser rulers most likely ones the Romans had conquered as a symbol that their authority comes from Rome. Same symbolism here.
The crowns are the crowns of victory and rewards for deeds (Greek stephanos) like those given at Olympic games, not royalty. The elders are giving their achievements over to God.
Smyrna was promised a crown of life for faithfulness (Revelation 2:10) and Philadelphia was told to hold onto their crown so no one will take it from them (Revelation 3:11).
Spurgeon points out the 24 elders acted as one and says how we all should be unified in our desire for God.
God is worthy because He is the creator of all things and He allows us to exist. King James Version says “for thy pleasure they are and were created.” We were created to please God and for nothing else. We don’t fulfill our purpose here on Earth until we do.
The elders represent us. God is waiting for us. We each have a crown in heaven and a throne in heaven and a song in heaven and a part in giving God all the glory He deserves.