After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.” (Revelation 7:9–12)
If we are going to make the most of our moments here on earth, we need a vision of what this life is really about, or better, of who this life is really about. Even though we’re absolutely surrounded by the bigness and loving kindness of God in all that he’s created and given to us, we can become numb to him. We forget where everything began and how it all will end.
Isaiah had an encounter with God that changed him. He saw the Lord circled by spectacular creatures singing about his holiness and glory. It left him wallowing in his sin, until he heard the good news, “Your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for” (Isaiah 6:7). Then God himself asked, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And broken, unworthy, but redeemed Isaiah said, “Here I am! Send me” (Isaiah 6:8). Seeing God and having hope for forgiveness, Isaiah wanted his life to count for God’s glory in the world.
A Revelation from God
God gave John a similar window into the wonders of who he is and what he has planned for those who love him. That window is found in the book of Revelation. John writes about what he saw:
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Revelation 7:9–10)
John saw crowds of people from everywhere on the planet — different ethnicities and colors and cultures and languages — all in one place, all for one reason. They’re gathered together there to sing to the Lamb of God, and they’re only there because he died to save them from their sin.
And all around them are angels, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen” (Revelation 7:12). A God who saves like this and a God who reigns like this is worthy of all of us — everything we are and everything we have. He gets the glory, not us. He gets the honor and thanksgiving, not us. He gets the sound of our voices and the work of our lives. He’s worthy of it all, and when we see him where he is, more than ever, we’ll want to give it all back to him in worship.
Seeing God and Making Sense of Us
God brought John before the throne in order to commission him for Christ, so that John would spend himself for the sake of the name of that great Lamb, Jesus. God didn’t want him to get lost in the distractions of this life and caught up in the here and now and physical. The book of Revelation is a reminder that this life, this whole world — all of history — was meant to make much of Jesus. That’s why we’re here. That’s why we live and work and eat and do everything that we do, each act a song of worship to our holy, holy, holy God.
When we meet him, we’ll never be able to avoid him again. We would never want to. He’ll shine — bright, beautiful, pure, and strong — over us and everything around us, making sense of it all and serving as the center, the foundation, the focal point of all things. And filled with wonder, awestruck wonder, we’ll sing to our King again and again and again — never hoarse, never bored, and never happier.