In the second half of Revelation Chapter 4, we are shown the praise and worship of God from angelic orders in heaven. In verse 6 we read, “And around the throne on each side of the throne are four living creatures, full of eyes in the front and behind, the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like an eagle in flight.” These creatures never cease praising God.

In the book of Ezekiel, we see that these creatures are angelic cherubim. The description of them means that they represent the whole created order of animate life. They carry out the divine will on earth. They stay before the throne of God praising God, ever ready to carry out the missions God sends them to do. The angel Gabriel told Zechariah (Luke 1) that he stood in the presence of God and was sent to speak good news.

The cherubim are often sent to carry out judgments upon the earth because of rebellion against God and persecution of God’s people. In Psalm 18, David recounts how he was threatened by Saul and other enemies. David was the Lord’s anointed one. God came to David’s aid.

“He bowed the heavens and came down; thick darkness was under his feet. He rode on a cherub and flew; he came swiftly on the wings of the wind. He made darkness his coverings, his canopy around him, thick clouds dark with water.” Saul was destroyed by the army of the Philistines, but David saw God dispatching angels to his aid. We see similar activity in the book of Ezekiel. God “riding” on his throne upon the backs of cherubim indicates they have been sent directly from the throne of God to execute judgments upon nations. The angels are both ready and able to carry out the divine will.

As Christians, we learn from these angels to have a cheerful delight in the worship and service of God. Cain brought an offering to God, but it was burdensome to him. He would have rather been about building his own city. Christ went readily to the cross for us, so we have more cause than even the holy angels to render service to the Lord God. We don’t have the ability of an angel, but we can be willing servants of Christ.

Another thing we learn from the angels is to look upon the glory of the Lord God and respond in praise. We read that these angels have “eyes in ‘front and behind’ and are “full of eyes all around and within.” They never cease praising God: and we would not either if we had the eyes they have to see God’s glory.

They experience such joy in worship because their eyes are fixated on the throne of God, marveling at his glory. Their capacity to enjoy God is connected to what their eyes behold of God. The sad condition of man is that the glory of God abounds in creation and men do not have eyes to see. The devil lied when he told man his eyes would be opened when he sinned against God. Rather, sin shuts the eyes of the soul to the glory of God.

Men do not respond to God’s glory in creation with praise and adoration. Rather, they suppress the truth of God and exchange it for a lie that they may seek the pleasures of sin. Men can enjoy a beautiful sunset and will travel many miles to see an extraordinary event such as an eclipse, and yet few will bow down to praise the God of wonders.

Men admire extraordinary things, but the truth is the whole course of nature and creation is one continual wonder. God made all things out of nothing and holds all of them together. The angels teach us not to see creation in passing looks and glances, but to make it our business to look deep into these things and turn them into the praise and worship of God.

Christ redeemed us from sin to open our eyes to the glory of God, that we might know God, glorify him, and enjoy him forever. It is an evil thing to not praise God. May the Lord give us eyes to see, that we might, with the angels, render to God what is due unto him.

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