4:9-11 PRAISE TO THE CREATOR
“The living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him that sat on the throne, who lives forever and ever” (Revelation 4:9). Although these four angels preside over the judgment of various categories of people, including the enemies of God’s chosen people, they are not representatives of those people. They are representatives of the angels, just as the 24 elders are representatives of the human race, and from their position “in the midst of the throne” they lead the universe in songs of praise and worship (Revelation 5:8,9, 7:11, 19:4). Their primary theme is the holiness of God (Revelation 4:8), which may be why they are so involved in the investigative phase of the judgment—they help to preserve the holiness and purity of the heavenly kingdom by making sure that “there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life” (Revelation 21:27). Although their role in the investigative judgment is exceedingly important, it is a temporary addition to their eternal role as worship leaders: “They do not rest day and night, saying ‘Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come” (Revelation 4:8). In the eternal kingdom their faces symbolize the attributes of God, not the perversions that the calf, man and eagle came to represent under the baleful influence of sin.
The chapter ends with a hymn of praise as “The twenty-four elders fall down before Him that sat on the throne and worship Him that lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: ‘You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; For You have created all things, and for your pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:10,11). In the midst of judgment, which is necessitated by sin we are reminded that before there ever was sin our Holy God created everything “and indeed it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). But sin and death have reigned in this little corner of the universe from the time that Adam and Eve first listened to Satan, spoiling the beauty, harmony an ove that God intended. The judgment, which begins with an investigation of those whose names have been written in the Book of Life, will culminate in “new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13). “And there shall be no more curse" (Revelation 22:3).