Then I looked, and, behold…
The prophet, in this chapter, makes use of all the wealth of earthly and human imagery to enhance his readers' conception of the glory of the Eternal. The throne here pictured is the throne of God, and the metaphor is employed in order to gather around the Deity all associations which may help to raise the thoughts in reverence, confidence, and adoration towards the King of the universe. At the same time, every figure drawn from earth, from man, must needs come short of the great reality; for the finite can do no more than merely suggest the Infinite.
I. GOD IS THE SUPREME KING BY UNDERIVED RIGHT. Earthly monarchs reign by right of conquest, or election, or inheritance. They come to reign, they begin to reign. In these respects there is contrast between the sovereigns who bear sway among men and the King of kings and Lord of lords; for he is Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. To examine, to question, to vindicate his right is an absurdity, an impossibility; it is the condition and foundation of all rights, and is indemonstrable and self-evident.
II. GOD IS SUPREME IN THE POSSESSION AND EXERCISE OF KINGLY POWER. Earthly sovereigns differ one from another in the military and naval forces they command, in the weight they bring to the councils of nations, in the respect and tear with which they are regarded. But there is no measure by which power such as emperors wield can be compared with Omnipotence. There is One, and there can be only One, who is almighty, who wields all the resources of the universe, and of whom it may be said that all the manifestations of his might are "but the whisperings of his power."
III. GOD IS SUPREME IN THE UNIVERSALITY OF HIS DOMINION. Vast as are the realms of the greatest of earthly potentates, these are but a speck, a mote, when placed beside the kingdom of the Creator. For this both transcends all and includes all the kingdoms of the earth: "His kingdom ruleth over all."
IV. GOD IS SUPREME IN THE RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH IS CHARACTERISTIC OF HIS SWAY. The true glory of a prince does not lie so much in the extent of his dominions as in the justice of his rule and administration. All human righteousness is a mere reflection of the righteousness of the great King of heaven and earth. "A sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom." A throne is sometimes thought of in association with the arbitrary and despotic exercise of power; all such associations must be dismissed when we come to think and speak of the Occupant of the throne of heaven. There may be that in his government which perplexes and baffles us; but nothing is so certain to our minds as his unswerving rectitude, his inflexible justice. Our highest powers of veneration are inadequate to conceive and to adore his moral attributes. Our proper attitude is to fall down before him and acknowledge the insufficiency of our purest homage.
V. GOD IS SUPREME IN HIS CLAIM UPON ALL HIS INTELLIGENT CREATION FOR HONOUR AND GLORY. It is sometimes represented by utilitarian thinkers that men's faculties are misused and their time wasted in the attempt to "glorify God." But the view of human nature is indeed both superficial and radically false which admits of such an objection to the practice of devotion. The worship which consists only of words and gestures is indeed an unprofitable superstition. But the worship which is spiritual is both acceptable to God and profitable and elevating to man. It is well to conceive of God as a King as well as a Father. Many human relationships must concur in order to present to our minds the claims of God upon our nature. To Christians the throne of Christ is the throne of God. "Thou art the King of glory, O Christ!" - T.
Parallel VersesKJV: Then I looked, and, behold, in the firmament that was above the head of the cherubims there appeared over them as it were a sapphire stone, as the appearance of the likeness of a throne.