And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.
[Revelation 4:3 NKJV]
Our meditation yesterday — based on Kelvin Moller’s word on Sunday — has made us consider his key verse in more detail. The thought was, simply put, if a rainbow is multi-coloured and spans the spectrum, then how could it be ‘in appearance like an emerald’, which is green?
In this instance, I feel that the colour is not intended to be the focus of our attention. These stones relate to three of the twelve stones on the breastplate of the priest, which in turn refer to each of the tribes of Israel and their spiritual meaning for us. The EMERALD of Reuben (behold a son) speaks of the first-born son nature (Reuben was Jacob’s first son) and would be his father’s inheritor.
The SARDIUS of the tribe of Judah is sometimes described as a ruby. Judah means ‘praise’, and is the tribe that Jesus was born into and the stone is given the ‘position of honour’ (top left) on the breastplate. It is the Hebrew word for ‘blushing’, which is what someone praising from the heart with joy would be doing – your face is glowing.
The JASPER of the tribe of Naphtali (wrestling). We have much to wrestle with in our lives, not least our own natures. We do tend to the nature of Jacob and like to wrestle with angels, but Genesis 30:8 says ‘I wrestled with my sister and I have prevailed’ about the birth of Naphtali the man. I believe it speaks of overcoming, of victory in the LORD, but I have also heard mention that the Jasper is a type of the true church – the true church and the man-made church being ‘sisters’. Still a type for the overcoming nature, I feel.
As Kelvin stressed, this verse is about the promise of the rainbow — and what a promise! Verse 2 says ‘Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne.’
Being ‘in the spirit’ is essential here, and with that connection to our Heavenly Father (the One sat on the throne), we are delivered into His throne room as claiming our inheritance as overcomers and filled with praise for The Most High God.
There is never any fear for the life that is “hid with Christ in God,” but there is not only fear, but terrible danger, for the life unguarded by God. He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High”—once there, and although God’s providence should take you to hell itself, you are as safe and secure as Almighty God can make you.