Revelation Praise Song
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28. Revelation Praise Song
Revelation 5.9-12

"And they sang a new song, saying: 'You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals because you were slain, and with your blood, you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.' You have made them 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 were saying: 'Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!'" (Revelation 5.9-12)✞

New Things

Singers With A New SongOne of the great things about the Book of Revelation is that it is the book of new things. Here are seven new things described in the Book of Revelation. There is the "new name" in Revelation 2.17, the "new Jerusalem" in Revelation 3.12, and the "new Revelation praise song" in Revelation 5.9. The "new heavens and the new earth" appear in Revelation 21.1, and there is the great promise that "God makes all things new" in Revelation 21.5. The four living creatures and the elders sing the Revelation praise song, which is also "a new song."

A New Song

Praise LettersThe phrase "a new song" is frequent in the Psalms, where it is an outburst of praise for God's goodness and mercy. "Sing to him 'a new song'" says Psalm 33.3. Psalm 98.1 calls out, "O sing a new song to the Lord, for he has done marvelous things." Psalm 144.9 adds, "I will sing a new song to thee, O God," and Psalm 149.1 urges, "Praise the Lord. Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise in the assembly of the faithful."

Thou art Worthy

Praise the Lord PeopleThe nearest Old Testament parallel to the Revelation praise song is Isaiah 42.10-12, "Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise from the ends of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and all that is in it, you islands, and all who live in them. Let the wilderness and its towns raise their voices; let the settlements where Kedar lives rejoice. Let the people of Sela sing for joy; let them shout from the mountaintops. Let them give glory to the Lord and proclaim his praise in the islands." Here God declares new things, and the prophet calls upon humans to sing to the Lord "a new song." Let us consider this new Revelation song carefully and why we can sing it of Jesus. "You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals because you were slain, and with your blood, you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth." This new song is all about Jesus. Jesus himself deserves a new song of praise for all he has achieved as Savior!✞

Praise The Lamb

Stained GlassWe are called upon to sing Jesus' song and praise the Lamb for his sacrificial death. The Four Living Creatures and the Elders offer praise to the Lamb because "he was slain." They sing Jesus' song, which describes the death and his blood shed for our sins. Jesus' sacrificial death is not an accident of history, it is not even the tragic death of a good and heroic man in the cause of righteousness, but it is the specific intention of God. The object of sacrifice is to restore the lost relationship between God and human beings, and it is for that purpose only, and with that result, that Jesus Christ dies on the cross. God wants to make this essence of praise a part of our lives on earth and throughout eternity in Heaven. What we glimpse in our Sunday worship, to sing the song of the lamb Jesus God wants to make a permanent feature in our lives. We are encouraged to,

"Sing a new song unto the Lord,
Let your song be sung, From age to age,
Sing a new song unto the Lord.
Singing, Alleluia."

From Every Tribe

Multitude of PeopleThe four living creatures and the twenty-four elders sing a new song in Heaven. It tells of Jesus Christ's death and resurrection and his saving work upon the cross for peoples from every tribe and nation of the World. "They will reign on the earth" may be translated as "they reign on the earth." It is as if the reign has begun. Jesus Christ's death is universal in its benefits. It is for everyone who will receive him men, women, and children "from every tribe and language and people and nation." There was a day when the Jews could argue that God cared only for them as the chosen people and desired the destruction of other non-Jewish peoples. But in Jesus Christ, we meet a God who loves all the world. Jesus' death is for everyone and, therefore, it is the task of the Church to tell everyone about it.

Kingdom and Priests

Jesus in gloryThe Scriptures tell us that God makes us a "kingdom and priests to serve our God." He opens to Christians the privilege of being the royal children of God. We have always been sons and daughters of God in creation, but now there is a new relationship open to everyone who believes as heirs of grace.

Jesus Christ's Priests

High PriestAs new priests of Jesus, every Christian has access to God. In Jesus, there is victory over our sin and control over self in all our circumstances. Jesus Christ makes Christians into "a kingdom and priests." In the ancient world, the Jewish High Priest alone had the privilege of approaching God and then on only one specific day each year. When an ordinary Jew entered the Jerusalem Temple, he could make his way through the Court of the Gentiles, through the Court of the Women, into the Court of the Israelites, but he could not go further into the Court of the Priests. It was thus far and no farther. But Jesus Christ, who is himself the greatest of High Priests, opens the way for all to enter right into God's presence. Every Christian becomes a priest in the sense that they have the same right of access to God as Jesus, the great High Priest.✞

Reign over the Earth

Praise GodThis Revelation passage tells us that Jesus' people shall "reign on the earth." Not a political triumph or material lordship, this is the secret of victorious living under all circumstances. As Jesus says in John 16.33b, "In the world you have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world." In Jesus, there is victory over self, victory over our circumstance, and victory over our sin. When we think of the life and death of Jesus Christ, it is no wonder that the living creatures and the elders erupt into a song of praise.

Countless Numbers

TrumpetsIn Revelation, thousands upon thousands of angels praise Jesus Christ in Heaven. A hundred million angels worship him. A thousand thousand angels or ten thousand times ten thousand angels or countless numbers of angelic beings sing the praises of the Lamb of God. Hebrews 13.2 says, "Forget not to show love unto strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." Angels are not human beings but rather spiritual beings having been made by God before the creation to serve and worship him either as messengers or as ministers in his service. Angels have other roles, including protecting and guiding human beings. There seems to be a hierarchy of angels or ranks of angels at different levels. Higher ranks such as Archangels have greater power or authority over lower ranks. The Archangel Gabriel seems to be God's primary messenger to human beings, whereas the Archangel Michael is renowned as the great soldier figure. Angels expelled from Heaven are referred to as fallen angels, like Satan.

One Hundred Million

Thousands of AngelsThe number ten thousand times ten thousand angels is one hundred million plus one million. The incomprehensible number of thousands upon thousands angels are praising the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, who is worthy to open the scroll. John of Patmos wants to express countless numbers like the stars in the sky or the grains of sand on the seashore. In today's scientific language, thousand upon thousand would be called infinity or 10 to the power of 8, if my math is correct or 101,000,000. Some would simply say "a countless number!" Countless angels praise Jesus, the worthy Lamb of God.

Angels Praise Jesus

AngelJesus, the Lamb, slain upon the cross, is now given praise and power worthy of his status. To Jesus belongs as Saint Paul writes in Ephesians 3.8b, "the boundless riches of Christ." In 1 Corinthians 1.24b, Jesus is "the power of God and the wisdom of God." Jesus is the strong one who overcomes all his enemies and is given all honor, praise, and power. John 1.14 also told us about Jesus, "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." Divine grace and truth were bestowed on him by the Father. Angels without number worship him, and all created beings with one great voice praise him.

Creation Work

Praise SongsThe Christ praise "Worthy is the Lamb" is rung out by the whole of creation in a loud voice in Heaven and on Earth. Jesus will conclude the events of history, for he is in control. "Worthy is the Lamb" is shouted in a loud voice by all creatures in heaven, the earth, under the ground, and in the sea. All creation praises Christ's work. The English poet Christina Rossetti (1830-1894), the author of a variety of romantic, devotional, and children's poems, writes,

"Heaven is revealed to earth as the homeland of music."

This Christ praise lifts our spirits too. We worship God and praise him for what he has done, what he is doing, and what he will do for all who trust him.

A Loud Voice

WorshipWe will someday join the angels with loud voices in Christ's praise in Heaven, from hearts full of joy and bathed in adoration. This essence of Christ praise, which we glimpse in our Sunday worship, God wants to make praise a full-blown and permanent feature of our life in Heaven.✞

"Revelation Praise Songs"
by Ron Meacock © 2020

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