And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:…
(with ver. 5): — The servants and the kings are identical, they are alike the beings written in the Book of Life; the redeemed from the earth; those who have entered through the gates into the city. I take this twofold word from among the final promises of Him who cannot lie, not now to look upward through it upon the brightness of the eternal future, but to see the light of that future cast through it downward on our present life.
I. His SERVANTS. Such is the title of the glorified. In heaven itself there is no emancipation from the bonds of God. The holy nations are eternally bound, in absolute obligation, to the will of God and of the Lamb. The created soul cannot be the basis of its own being; how could it be the source of its own joy and power, or the law of its own eternity? We read what is but likely when we read that the nearer and the clearer is the sight of the Creator granted to the creature, the better the creature recognises the blessedness of self-surrender. Now, does not this truth of the future begin to be realised on earth? You know how full the Scriptures are of the idea of the service of God; a service not the less real as service because it can also be viewed as "perfect freedom" in the light of knowledge and love; a service not meant to be a figure of religious speech, a form of courtly deference to the Majesty above; but an obligation real and binding; compelling with the united power of the love and the law of God (John 13:13; Acts 27:23; 1 Thessalonians 1:10).
II. THEY SHALL REIGN. Such is the twin promise of the better life. The bondmen of the Eternal, in that existence of endless duty, shall for ever reign. Scripture does indeed largely promise honour to man. Never does it flatter him; this is part of its Divine manner. But of hope and promise it grudges nothing to him if only he will seek it in the way of Christ. Poor must be our best conjectures of what the fulfilment will be. We cannot yet understand what is the nobility of being, the lofty purity, the greatness of knowledge, the wealth of joy and power, which are indicated in the figures of the promise, the crowns of life, and righteousness, and glory, the session on thrones, and this reigning as of kings for ever. But, little as we know of the fulfilment, the process towards it is even now begun. Even in this present world the true servant of God, in proportion to the reality and simplicity of his servitude, receives also some foretastes of his royalty. Let him, in truth, "endure, seeing Him who is invisible"; and it will bring him a power not his own over and amidst the visible. He will tread, by his Master's strength, calmly and habitually, on besetting sin; he will turn to real flight the alien armies of temptation; he will in some true sense and measure rule amongst influences at enmity with his Lord. There is no independence upon earth so strong, and so nobly strong, as that of a Christian who wills wholly to be Christ's servant.
(H. C G. Moule, B. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: