I was dumfounded. My mind couldn’t quite make the enormous leap it was being asked to make. I knew what I was reading at an academic level, but my heart was laboring to grasp the enormity of it all. I realized I was in good company with my undertaking: many before me had struggled to understand the throne room of Almighty God in heaven. In fact, many biblical writers struggled to find adequate words to describe their glimpses of God on His throne, resorting to similes to describe what they were seeing and hearing.
Those who were given a glimpse of God on His throne sometimes responded by falling face down as though dead (Rev. 1:17; Ez. 1:28; Is. 6:5; Dan. 10:7-8). Job responded with repentance and ashes, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:5-6).
How does one respond when confronted with God’s sovereignty and majesty? Has your mind grappled with descriptions of God sitting on His throne?
Listen to some of the attempts to describe God on His throne. “Under His feet was something “like” a pavement made of sapphire, clear as the sky itself” (Ex. 24:9). “I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple” (Is. 6:1). “Above the expanse over their heads was what looked like a throne of sapphire, and high above on the throne was a figure like that of a man. I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him. Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking” (Ez. 1:26-28). John in Revelation writes, “At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne….From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder…Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal” (Rev. 4:2-6).
Everything around the throne worshiped the One Who sat on it. Scripture describes “creatures” attending the one who sat on the throne. Daniel describes what he saw this way, “His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze. A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him…all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him” (Dan. 7:9-14). “Creatures” around the throne never stop saying: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come” (Rev. 4:8).
Contrast these pictures of God’s throne with advent. “While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn” (Lk. 2:6-7). Shepherds came to a dirty manger to worship Him. The One who looks like jasper and carnelian, glowing metal, and fire, became paper thin flesh and flowing blood.
Contrasting the throne room of God with the birth of a vulnerable baby in a feed trough humbles me and brings me to tears. Truly this God Who hates sin, loves me. While I was a sinner He died for me; He entered His own creation for me; He suffered for me; He Who had everything gave it all up for me.
Will you join me in worshiping the One Who sits on His throne and whose kingdom will reign forever and ever? †
Copyright 2015 Life Assurance Ministries, Inc., Camp Verde, Arizona, USA. All rights reserved. Revised May 25, 2016. Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
W I N T E R • 2 0 1 5
VOLUME 16, ISSUE 4
Carolyn Macomber was a doctoral student at Andrews University when she discovered inconsistencies between Adventism and the Bible. She withdrew her membership from the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 2009. She is a marriage and family counselor and is the contact person for former Adventists at The Chapel Evangelical Free Church in St. Joseph, Michigan.
D E P A R T M E N T S
The life EXAMINED with