The Center of the Throne, the Lamb and the River of Life

After looking at the image of worship that John paints in Revelation 5, this phrase – ‘The Center of the Throne’ really caught my attention. The center of the throne is where God dwells, it’s where the slain Lamb stands, it’s where the praises of God’s people are directed and focused.

I’ve often heard and believed statements like God inhabits – dwells or is enthroned in the praises of His people. I have also experienced this in varying degrees – but until recently I didn’t really have a full grasp of what this means – maybe I still don’t – the Lord is still working on me! Recently I got a fuller understanding of what these statements may mean. This happened while looking at the following passages.

Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders.
And they sang a new song: You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth. Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang: Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise! Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever! The four living creatures said, Amen, and the elders fell down and worshiped.

(Revelation 5:6, 9-13)

Look closely at this passage, in particular look at the ‘new song’! The new song is sung around the throne of God with the Lamb at the center of the throne. The Lamb is also the center of the new song – the Lamb’s sacrifice the subject of the song.

The sacrifice of the Lamb, the blood sacrifice of Christ for mankind is at the center of the new song. The new song of praise has a direct connection with the salvation of mankind. This message can be seen and heard when the new song is sung.

When we praise and worship the Lord Jesus Christ, when the Lamb is at the center of our worship, when we magnify His blood sacrifice for our sins, we lift Him up for all to see. Jesus can then use our worship, our praise to draw others near to Him. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD (Psalm 40:3).

Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth. Sing to the LORD, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day.
(Psalm 96:1-2)

The other neat thing to notice about this passage – God’s throne, God’s dwelling place – where He rests, is encircled by His people and their praise and worship of the Lamb’s sacrifice. What a wonderful image of God dwelling in an atmosphere of the praise of His people, enthroned with the Lamb in their midst. This is a beautiful image of God inhabiting the praises of His people.
The center of the throne can also be seen in this passage – Revelation 22 – the River of Life. The throne is where this river of life flows from.

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.The Spirit and the bride say, Come! And let him who hears say, Come! Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.
(Revelation 22:1-2, 17)

Look at this River of Life – it flows from the throne of God, it’s of the Lamb and it flows down the middle of the city. We see from Psalm 46 that this city is where the Most High dwells.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.
(Psalm 46:4)

Also look at the invitation, the Spirit, the bride and whoever hears, are saying “Come!”. This invitation is for whoever is thirsty, for whoever wishes, it’s a free gift of the water of life. How wonderful! So how do we find this river of life, this holy place where the Most High dwells? How do we hear and accept the invitation to drink of the water of life?

For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water.
(Revelation 7:17)

Let the Lamb, the Lamb at the center of the throne lead! The Lamb will lead whoever follows to the river of life, to the holy place where the Most High dwells, to the place where God inhabits the praises of His people! The Lamb at the center of the throne ties all these things together, worship, salvation, the river of life, the holy place where the Most dwells. How appropriate that it would be the Lamb that leads, for Jesus the Lamb of God paid the price for us all. Jesus the Lamb of God is the reason that there is a free gift of the water of life.

In worship (as with all things) doesn’t it then make sense that we should seek and follow Jesus – the Lamb of God? So what are we waiting for? Let’s seek the Lamb and follow Him, seek and accept the invitation, seek and follow with our whole hearts.

Thank You, Lord for the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. Help each of us keep the Lamb in the center of our worship. Help us each sing this new song a song that proclaims salvation. Help us proclaim this new song with our whole heart, with all that is within us.