In Revelation chapter 5, heaven bursts into jubilant worship in answer to a rhetorical question, “Who is worthy to open the book [scroll] and to break its seals?” Jesus, the Lamb of God, is worthy because He died to redeem people with His blood (Rev. 5:1-10).
Heaven’s worship extends like a huge ripple flowing from millions of angels to involve all creation. There is no mention of spectators; everyone participates. And worship unifies the most diverse crowd because everyone shares the same reasons to worship God.
Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.” And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.” And the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen.” And the elders fell down and worshiped. (Rev 5:11-14)
Notice how the chapter describes a principle that Paul wrote about in Philippians. Jesus, humbled to the point of crucifixion, is exalted by God then worshiped by every tongue (Phil. 2:8-11). What is the Lamb worthy of? The very things that belong to God anyway! Consider the seven items mentioned:
- Power—an inherent strength to accomplish all His will.
- Riches—the resources of heaven.
- Wisdom—insight into the true nature of things and the capacity to deal with the world’s problems.
- Might—the word means physical power and it exceeds every other force.
- Honor—value or worth.
- Glory—the dazzling splendor of God.
- Blessing—being spoken well of.
- Dominion—the might to rule the universe.
Jesus did not earn them by what He did; they are His by right. He was able to accomplish our salvation because He was from God.
Our worship benefits from following the heavenly pattern: stating what He is worthy of, what belongs to Him as God. There is a place for extending the list, singing a new song (v. 9), because worship can never be exhausted and love benefits from innovation.
So, let’s keep updating our list of reasons to praise God as we get to know Him and experience Him in action. Let’s be creative by worshiping with poems, art, songs, instruments, and tongues.