on Revelation 4 :11
Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive - Thus all creation acknowledges the supremacy of God; and we learn from this song that he made all things for his pleasure; and through the same motive he preserves. Hence it is most evident, that he hateth nothing that he has made, and could have made no intelligent creature with the design to make it eternally miserable. It is strange that a contrary supposition has ever entered into the heart of man; and it is high time that the benevolent nature of the Supreme God should be fully vindicated from aspersions of this kind.
on Revelation 4 :11
Thou art worthy, O Lord - In thy character, perfections, and government, there is what makes it proper that universal praise should be rendered. The feeling of all true worshippers is, that (God is worthy of the praise that is ascribed to him. No man worships him aright who does not feel that there is that in his nature and his doings which makes it proper that he should receive universal adoration.
To receive glory - To have praise or glory ascribed to thee.
And honour - To be honored; that is, to be approached and adored as worthy of honor.
And power - To have power ascribed to thee, or to be regarded as having infinite power. Man can confer no power on God, but he may acknowledge what he has, and adore him for its exertion in his behalf and in the government of the world.
For thou hast created all things - Thus, laying the foundation for praise. No one can contemplate this vast and wonderful universe without seeing that He who has made it is worthy to "receive glory, and honor, and power." Compare the notes on Job 38:7.
And for thy pleasure they are - They exist by thy will - διὰ τὸ θέλημά dia to thelēma. The meaning is, that they owe their existence to the will of God, and therefore their creation lays the foundation for praise. He "spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast." He said, "Let there be light; and there was light." There is no other reason why the universe exists at all than that such was the will of God; there is nothing else that is to be adduced as explaining the fact that anything has now a being. The putting forth of that will explains all; and, consequently, whatever wisdom, power, goodness, is manifested in the universe, is to be traced to God, and is the expression of what was in him from eternity. It is proper, then, to "look up through nature to nature's God," and wherever we see greatness or goodness in the works of creation, to regard them as the faint expression of what exists essentially in the Creator.
And were created - Bringing more distinctly into notice the fact that they owe their existence to his will. They are not eternal; they are not self-existent; they were formed from nothing. This concludes the magnificent introduction to the principal visions in this book. It is beautifully appropriate to the solemn disclosures which are to be made in the following portions of the book, and, as in the case of Isaiah and Ezekiel, was eminently adapted to impress the mind of the holy seer with awe. Heaven is opened to his view; the throne of God is seen; there is a vision of Him who sits upon that throne; thunders and voices are heard around the throne; the lightnings play; and a rainbow, symbol of peace, encircles all; the representatives of the redeemed church, occupying subordinate thrones, and in robes of victory, and with crowns on their heads, are there; a vast smooth expanse like the sea is spread out before the throne; and the emblems of the wisdom, the power, the vigilance, the energy, the strength of the divine administration are there, represented as in the act of bringing honor to God, and proclaiming his praise. The mind of John was doubtless prepared by these august visions for the disclosures which follow; and the mind of the reader should in like manner be deeply and solemnly impressed when he contemplates them, as if he looked into heaven, and saw the impressive grandeur of the worship there. Let us fancy ourselves, therefore, with the holy seer looking into heaven, and listen with reverence to what the great God discloses respecting the various changes that are to occur until every foe of the church shall be subdued, and the earth shall acknowledge his sway, and the whole scene shall close in the triumphs and joys of heaven.
on Revelation 4 :11
4:11 Worthy art thou to receive - This he receives not only when he is thus praised, but also when he destroys his enemies and glorifies himself anew. The glory and the honour and the power - Answering the thrice - holy of the living creatures, verse 9. Rev 4:9 For thou hast created all things - Creation is the ground of all the works of God: therefore, for this, as well as for his other works, will he be praised to all eternity. And through thy will they were - They began to be. It is to the free, gracious and powerfully - working will of Him who cannot possibly need anything that all things owe their first existence. And are created - That is, continue in being ever since they were created.