Worthy Is The Lamb!
Isaiah 43-44, Revelation 5
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing! – Revelation 5:12 ESV
God’s relationship with Israel was complicated. He had chosen them. He had made them His prized possession among all the nations of the world. He had determined to dwell among them, give them His law as a standard for righteous living, and then provided the sacrificial system as a means of forgiveness when they failed to live up to His law. They were to worship Him as their God. They were to both love and fear Him. They were expected to obey Him. They were to acknowledge Him as their Creator and King. He was to be their Lord of Hosts, their rescuer and protector in times of conflict. But more than anything, God was to be their Savior and Redeemer. There were times when He was forced to be their Judge, pronouncing His sentence of guilt upon them and executing the punishment they so justly deserved. Yet, in spite of their sin, God always stood ready to be their Savior. He repeatedly restored and redeemed them.
What does this passage reveal about God?
God is worthy to be worshiped. He is deserving of man’s praise and adoration – especially those who have been called by His name. He is the one who created all that exists. And as if that was not enough, He determined to have a special, one-of-a-kind relationship with the nation of Israel. He chose to allow them to experience the power of His presence. He revealed Himself to them. He dwelt among them. He gave them His law. He led them. He fed them. He protected and provided for them. He told them, “I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior” (Isaiah 43:3 ESV). He reminded them, “you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you” (Isaiah 43:4 ESV). He went out of His way to teach them, “I am the Lord, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King” (Isaiah 43:15 ESV). And yet, they responded to Him with indifference, apathy, and a stubborn refusal to acknowledge who He was and all that He had done. “Yet you did not call upon me, O Jacob; but you have been weary of me, O Israel!” (Isaiah 43:22 ESV). Rather than worship Him, they burdened Him with their sins and wore Him out with their iniquities (Isaiah 43:24). But amazingly, God responded with grace, mercy, love and forgiveness. “I, I am he, who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins” (Isaiah 43:25 ESV).
What does this passage reveal about man?
When the people of Israel were given the unique opportunity to have a relationship with the God of the universe, they proved to be unfaithful. Their affections for Him proved fickle and fleeting. Rather than honor Him as the one true God, they constantly found themselves turning to false gods. When faced with difficulties or in the midst of trying circumstances, they consistently put their hopes, expectations and affections in something other than God. His repeated acts of kindness, deliverance, protection, provision, mercy, grace, and love were met with indifference, doubt, ingratitude, and unfaithfulness. God had proven Himself over and over again. He had shown that He alone was God. There were no other gods before Him. He had defeated the gods of Egypt. He had overcome the gods of the nations that occupied the land of Canaan. He ridiculed the very idea of idols, saying, “All who fashion idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit” (Isaiah 44:9 ESV). He exposed the idiocy of those who bowed down to the very things they had created, rather than worship the One who had created them.
How would I apply what I’ve read to my own life?
For those of us who call ourselves children of God, He has proven Himself worthy of our allegiance. He has redeemed us through the blood of His own Son. He has provided us a means by which we can escape judgment and enjoy a restored relationship with Him. He has rescued and redeemed us. He has shown Himself to be worthy of our praise, adoration, obedience, love and worship. And we are reminded that that worth is unmatched and without end. There is no one else like Him. There is nothing on this earth that even remotely comes close to Him in value and worth. There is nothing in heaven that rivals His majesty, power, and holiness, or merits our worship, attention or affections. In the book of Revelation, John is given a glimpse into heaven and shown a scene that takes place some time in the distant future. He sees God sitting on His throne in heaven, holding in his hand a scroll. John hears the voice of an angel crying out, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break the seals?” (Revelation 5:2 ESV). And much to John’s dismay, he realizes that “no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or look into it” (Revelation 5:3 ESV), and he began to weep. The scroll contained the details concerning the future of mankind and the earth. It would reveal how the story ends, but no one was worthy to open it and reveal what was going to happen. Except for one – the Lamb who was slain. “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:9-10 ESV). The one who was slain is the one who will make possible the final fulfillment of God’s plan of redemption and restoration of creation. He alone is worthy. It is He who provided for our salvation and who will make possible the consummation of all things. He is our Savior, Holy One, Creator, King, Lord of Hosts, and Redeemer. No one and nothing else deserves our praise, attention, affections, hope, trust, worship, and love. “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” (Revelation 5:13 ESV).
Father, it is so amazing that I can find myself worshiping anything or anyone other than You. Nothing compares to You. Nothing can hold a candle to You. Your power is unmatched. Your holiness is unexcelled. And yet I can so easily end up worshiping the creation rather than the Creator. I can so quickly place my affections and expectations in those things that cannot deliver. You alone are God. You alone are worthy. You have proven that to be true time and time again, and when it comes time for You to bring Your plan to an end, it will be Your Son who proves worthy to finish what You began. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men