“Then the twenty-four elders and the four living beings fell down and worshiped God, who was sitting on the throne. They cried out, “Amen! Praise the Lord!” And from the throne came a voice that said, “Praise our God, all his servants, all who fear him, from the least to the greatest.””
Revelation 19:4-5 NLT
In John’s vision, his focus shifts back to the twenty-four elders. We read in Revelation 4:4, “Twenty-four thrones surrounded him, and twenty-four elders sat on them. They were all clothed in white and had gold crowns on their heads.” What do we know about the elders? Not much, it seems. Because this scene was in Heaven, one possibility is that they were angels, but this is unlikely because nowhere in the Bible does it say that either thrones or crowns were given to angels. The most likely explanation is that they represent God’s holy people, with possibly links to the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve apostles. Anyway, we read that, once again, they fell down before God and worshipped Him, along with the four living beings. Their “Amens” and praises filled the Heavens. Interestingly, the phrase “Praise the Lord” is apparently the Hebrew word “Alleluia”, a word that will be forever on our lips when we join God in Heaven.
As the elders were prostrate in worship before God, another voice was heard. This time coming from God’s throne. Who was that? It may have been Jesus, but most probably from an angel serving God next to His throne. And he added his exhortations to all within earshot, “Praise our God, all his servants, all who fear him, from the least to the greatest”. No one was excluded. We’re all God’s servants, whether in Heaven or on earth.
Picking up that theme, how do we pilgrims serve God? After all, it’s not as though we’re standing next to God, like the angel. Anyway, God is omni-everything, so how do we find something that could be defined as serving Him? The Apostle Paul served God by sharing the Gospel. “ … Day and night I bring you and your needs in prayer to God, whom I serve with all my heart by spreading the Good News about his Son.” (Romans 1:9). Jesus said in Mark 10:45, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” And of course we read in John 13 about the time when Jesus washed His disciples’ feet. A menial act of service, exemplified by the Son of God Himself. And towards the end of this recorded episode, Jesus said, “I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.” Service to God starts with serving our fellow human beings. In our families and communities. Let us pilgrims always be on the look out for ways to serve people, whether they are Christians or not. The Apostle Peter wrote, “God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.” (1 Peter 4:10). And by doing so, we echo the words of the angel who spoke from besides God’s throne, “Praise our God, all his servants…”. In our service to God and people everywhere, we truly praise Him.
Dear Father God. Thank You that we have opportunities to serve You, in our daily lives. Please open doors for us, and direct our paths in accordance with Your will and purposes. In Jesus’ name. Amen.