WORSHIP SONG FOUR
After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice, saying,
“Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, singing,
“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom
and thanksgiving and honor
and power and might
be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?” I said to him, “Sir, you are the one that knows.” Then he said to me, “These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
For this reason they are before the throne of God,
and worship him day and night within his temple,
and the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them.
They will hunger no more, and thirst no more;
the sun will not strike them,
nor any scorching heat;
for the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd,
and he will guide them to springs of the water of life,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
See the bottom of this post for how to use this daily devotional
READ ALOUD Revelation 7:9-17
I was a college freshman when I learned about Socrates’ method of asking questions to stimulate critical thinking. I later learned how Jesus often asked a question in response to a question in order to get people to thinking critically.
That is what is happening in today’s Scripture as one of the elders asks John: “Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?” John replies: “Sir, you are the one who knows.”
There are two parts to the elder’s question. First, “Who are these?”, and second, “Where have they come from?” The elder takes up the second part first, explaining that they have come from “the great ordeal”. At this point John might be remembering how Jesus had warned that at His return people would experience great ordeal: “For in those days there will be suffering, such as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, no, and never will be” (Mark 13:19). But readers of any generation can be assured that as they follow the Lamb, He will lead them victorious to the throne. “They have lived through the nightmare and now can wake up to a glorious fresh new morning.” (N. T. Wright, Revelation for Everyone)
Then the elder takes up with John the first part of his question: “Who are these?” Who are these John sees robed in victor’s apparel? The elder supplies the answer: “These are they who have…washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” It is noteworthy that they have come victorious out of the great ordeal, not by shedding their blood, but by the shedding of “the blood of the Lamb”. The elder assures that “For this reason” they stand before the throne. It is for this reason, and this reason alone. No one comes to the Father but through Jesus the Lamb (John 14:6).
Bible commentator William Barclay observes, “Here is symbolically laid down man’s part in his own salvation; the blessed ones washed their own robes. That is to say, the act of man’s redemption is Christ’s, but the effect is not passive and man has to appropriate it.” (Daily Study Bible)
We can be among the victors clothed in white as we believe in and follow the Lamb. It is the Lamb alone who is worthy of our lives and our worship. “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us” (Ephesians 1:7).
READ ALOUD Revelation 7:9-17
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.