March 18 2022
Today, Friday March 18
“A Rainbow Around the Throne” Revelation 4:1-3 “After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, "Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this." Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.”
"Immediately I was in the Spirit." In other words, the Holy Spirit is still guiding John into new truth and is showing him things to come (John 16:13). "And behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne.." The throne was already there, but John now sees it for the first time. Our attention is now directed to the center of attraction in heaven, the Throne of God! The throne represents the universal sovereignty and rulership of God. It means that He is in control. The general headquarters of this universe is in heaven, not in Washington, D.C., or London or Moscow or any other place down here.
This is the picture that we are given in the Word of God. We read in Psalm 11:4, "The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord's throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men" (see also Ps. 47:8; Ps. 97:2; Ps. 103:19; Ezek. 1:26-28). It is the throne of God the Father, and Jesus sits at His right hand. Psalm 110:1 tells us, "The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool" (see also Heb. 1:3; Heb. 12:2). The Lord Jesus is in charge of all events here.
The throne of grace now becomes a throne of judgment. But immediately we are reminded of the rainbow! “And there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.” This rainbow was a complete circle, not merely an arc, for in heaven all things are completed. The rainbow reminds us of God's covenant with Noah (Gen. 9:11-17), symbolic of His promise that He would never again destroy the earth with a flood. God's covenant, was not only with Noah, but with all of His creation. Judgment is about to fall, but the rainbow reminds us that God is merciful, even when He judges. The suggestion here is that of the prophet Habakkuk: "...in wrath remember mercy" (Hab. 3:2) -- and God will do that.
Usually, a rainbow appears after the storm; but here, we see it before the storm. The rainbow provides a comforting balance to the fiery flashings of judgment earlier seen emanating from God's throne. According to Genesis 9:13-17, a rainbow symbolizes God's covenant faithfulness, mercy, and grace. God's attributes always operate in perfect harmony. His wrath never operates at the expense of His faithfulness; His judgments never abrogate His promises. God's power and holiness would cause us to live in abject terror were it not for His faithfulness and mercy. God said of the faithful remnant of Israel who feared being swept away in His judgment of the nation, "They will be Mine... on the day that I prepare My own possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him" (Mal. 3:17).
Today, you might be feeling overcome with anxiety, fear and worry with all the events going on in the world around us! Or it might things happening in your personal life at home, at work or at school, which have come crashing in upon you. Even in this scene in heaven we have a picture of the storm of God’s judgment that is about to be let loose on the earth. “And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices…”. (Revelation 4:5)
But today, remember the rainbow! The rainbow of God’s faithfulness, His love, His mercy, His grace that completely circles us because of Jesus Christ!