“At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 16:11)
“And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Rev. 4:9–11).
The four beasts are cherubim, surrounding the throne of the one who lives forever and ever. In the Old Testament, there were two cherubim surrounding the mercy seat on the Ark of the Covenant. Here the cherubim are alive not gold (Ex. 25:18)—they are living creatures, and there are four of them, not two. But they still surround the mercy seat—the throne of the Lamb is the ultimate seat of mercy.
The cherubim set the pitch for worship. It says that when they give glory, honor and thanks to Christ, the twenty-four elders follow suit. We have already touched on the fact that the twenty-four elders represent the elect of God throughout all history, twelve tribes in the Old Testament and twelve apostles in the New. All the redeemed throughout all history give honor and praise. The cherubim are the pitch pipe, and when they have rendered their glory, the twenty-four elders do the same thing. They all fall down before the one who sits on the throne, and who lives forever and ever. As they fall prostrate, they cast their crowns in front of the throne. The fact that they have crowns means that they are kings themselves, and that their seats are in fact lesser thrones. In fact, where the AV translates it as seats, the Greek word there is thronos. The Lord Jesus is in fact the King of kings.
The cherubim give glory, honor and thanks. The elders declare that the Lord is worthy of such praise, and they modify the declaration slightly. They say that He is worthy to receive glory, honor, and power. They say that He is worthy of such worship because He is the one who created absolutely everything, and they go on to tell us why the Lord created them all. The AV says that He created them for His pleasure. The word is will, and it would be better to say that He created all things for the sake of His good pleasure—in other words, simply because He wanted to.