WORSHIP SONG SEVEN
Then I saw another portent in heaven, great and amazing: seven angels with seven plagues, which are the last, for with them the wrath of God is ended.
And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands. And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb:
“Great and amazing are your deeds,
Lord God the Almighty!
Just and true are your ways,
King of the nations!
Lord, who will not fear
and glorify your name?
For you alone are holy.
All nations will come
and worship before you,
for your judgments have been revealed.”
See the bottom of this post for how to use this daily devotional
READ ALOUD Revelation 15:1-4
People worship God for many reasons. We worship Him for His boundless love, for His grace, mercy, power, and for His faithfulness when we are unfaithful. But in today’s worship song we see that day when “All the nations will come and worship” God whose “judgments have been revealed.”
We tend to fear the coming of a judge and might not think of worshipping God for His judgments. Yet repeatedly Scripture does call for us to pray and to look for that day when God comes to judge the world. On that day “People will say, ‘Surely there is a reward for the righteous; surely there is a God who judges on earth” (Psalm 58:11). Our long and relentless prayer of “how long” (Revelation 6:10) will at last be answered. Imagine the whole world seeing God’s righteous judgments and singing: “Great and amazing are your deeds, Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, King of the nations.” This is a cause for jubilation because: “When the Bible speaks about God ‘judging’ or putting into effect his ‘judgments’, it is just as much a cause for celebration as for anxiety…Things are put right at last.” (N. T. Wright, Revelation for Everyone)
For all of recorded history people have agonized over the problem of “theodicy”, or, how God can be all good and all powerful when there is so much evil in the world. Evil shows itself in nature through earthquakes, hurricanes, childhood leukemia and cancer. As well, evil shows itself in human nature through war, injustice and oppression. People look at these kinds of evil and more, and are ready to sit in judgment of God.
In the Old Testament Abraham wrestled with God’s ways in the world, but rested himself in the confidence: “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” During the American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln, in his Second Inaugural Address, wrestled with the evils of slavery, war, and brother killing brother. But Lincoln also affirmed his trust in God’s justice, quoting the psalmist “the judgements of the Lord are true and righteous altogether” (Psalm 19:9b). If we are honest we must admit that we are never more just, caring and compassionate than the God of heaven and earth. We can always trust Him to do what is right.
As we look out on the world today it can be easy to forget that history is really ‘His-story’. God is at work in heaven and earth and “accomplishes all things according to the counsel of his will”(Ephesians 1:11). We live at that time in history between Christ’s first coming and His second when He will judge the world and set things right.
Theologian R. C. Sproul observes that much of the church today is “infected with a powerful dose of pessimillennialism, the doctrine of a dark future.” (Almighty Over All) But not so The Revelation or the saints gathered around God’s throne worshipping and singing: “Great and amazing are your deeds, Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, King of the nations.”
READ ALOUD Revelation 15:1-4
HOW TO USE THIS DAILY DEVOTIONAL
This daily Lenten devotional takes up eight songs of worship from The Revelation. It is significant that this is the only book in the Bible promising a blessing on those who read it, specifically: “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of the prophecy” (Revelation 1:3 NRSV). Each section of this devotional presents a song for your audible reading, reflection and worship. Each day you will:
- PRAY asking God to bless this time you devote to Him
- READ ALOUD the worship song and text for the day
- REFLECT on the daily reading
- READ ALOUD again the worship song and text for the day
- WORSHIP God each day in a way that is meaningful for you. The way in which you worship might vary day to day. Depending on the day, you might choose to talk with God about what you are thinking and feeling about the song, or meditate on the worship song, or intercede for others, or sing, or be silent before God. Ask God to guide you.
We pray that God use these worship songs of The Revelation to reveal His glory to you and bless you as you center your life in Him.