And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell on their faces, and worshipped God,…
Every attribute of God is proper and useful object of our consideration, as being apt to remind us of our duty, and excite us to the practice of it, for which purposes this of omnipotence, mentioned in the text, is of much avail, and deserves serious consideration.
1. God is παντοκράτωρ, as having a just right and authority over all thing, being naturally the sovereign Lord and Emperor of the world.
2. He is also such inregard to His infinite power, as that word may signify omnipotent.
3. He is also so, because He doth actually exercise all dominion, and continually exert His power, according to His good pleasure; "for the Lord hath prepared His throne in heaven, and His kingdom ruleth over all," etc.
4. God is παντοκράτωρ, as the true proprietary and just possessor of all things; "the heavens," saith the Psalmist, "are Thine; the earth also is Thine," etc.
5. Also as containing and comprehending all things by His immense presence and infinite capacity. "I fill heaven and earth," said God in Jeremiah; and King Solomon in his prayer observes, "the heaven of heavens cannot contain Thee," etc.
6. God is παντοκράτωρ, in regard that He sustains and preserves all things (Nehemiah 9:6; Colossians 1:1.17).
I. IF GOD BE THE JUST SOVEREIGN OF ALL THINGS, HAVING A RIGHT TO GOVERN THE WORLD, AND ACTUALLY EXERCISING IT, then —
1. We see our condition here; that we live not in an anarch, or in perfect liberty to follow our own will, etc.
2. We understand our duty as subjects and vassals, etc.
3. We may hence discern the heinousness of every sin as committed against the crown and dignity of God.
4. We may learn what reason we have to be content in every condition, since our station is allotted to us by unquestionable right.
5. It is a matter of great consolation to reflect that we and all the world are under such a governor, who is no usurper and tyrant, but a most just, wise, and gracious sovereign.
II. THE BELIEF OF GOD'S IMMENSE AND UNCONTROLLABLE POWER IS ALSO OF GREAT IMPORTANCE AND INFLUENCE ON PRACTICE.
1. It serves to beget in us a due awe and dread of Him.
2. It consequently dissuades and deters us in a high manner from sin, nothing being more reasonable than that advice of the preacher, "contend not with him that is mightier than thou."
3. Whence the consideration of this point may dispose us to weigh well our counsels.
4. It may also serve to depress confidence in ourselves, and in all other things, as to any security they can afford.
5. It may be of special efficacy to quell and mortify in us the vices of pride, arrogance, self-will.
6. Also to breed and nourish faith in God, as to the certain performance of His word and promises, which, be they never so difficult, He is so able to perform.
7. Hence also particularly it may produce and cherish faith in the sufficiency of God's providence, and induce us entirely to rely on it.
8. It affords comfort and encouragement to us in the undertaking and prosecution of honest and prudent enterprises, giving us hope and confidence in their success.
III. THAT NOTION OF THE WORD "ALMIGHTY," WHICH IMPLIES GOD'S BEING UNIVERSAL PROPRIETARY AND POSSESSOR OF ALL THINGS, HAS ALSO MANY GOOD USES. We may thence learn —
1. That we are not our own, and therefore are obliged to submit with patience to His disposal of us.
2. We ought to be content with that share of accommodations which He allows, since all things are His, and we can claim nothing from Him.
3. To be satisfied when He withdraws that of which He has before afforded us the enjoyment.
4. To be heartily thankful for all we ever have or enjoy.
5. Carefully to manage and employ all which is put into our hands for His interest and service.
6. To be humble and sober, not to e conceited, or to glory in regard to anything we love.
IV. THAT SENSE, ACCORDING TO WHICH THE WORD SIGNIFIES GOD'S CONTAINING ALL THINGS BY HIS IMMENSE PRESENCE, IS ALSO OF MOST EXCELLENT USE. We thereby may learn with what care, circumspection, modesty, and integrity we ought always to manage our conversation and behaviour, since we continually think and speak and act in the immediate presence of God, "whose eyes are on the ways of men." Hence also we are prompted to frequent addresses of prayer, thanksgiving, and all kind of adoration.
V. THE CONSIDERATION THAT GOD UPHOLDS ALL THINGS, AND CONSEQUENTLY OURSELVES, IN BEING, MAY POWERFULLY DETER US FROM OFFENDING HIM; for put the case that our life and all the comforts of living depended on the bounty and pleasure of any person, should we not be very waxy and fearful of offending such an one?
(Isaac Barrow, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God,