WORSHIP SONG SIX
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, proclaiming,
“Now have come the salvation and the power
and the kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Messiah,
for the accuser of our comrades has been thrown down,
who accuses them day and night before our God.
But they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony,
for they did not cling to life even in the face of death.
Rejoice then, you heavens
and those who dwell in them!
But woe to the earth and the sea,
for the devil has come down to you
with great wrath,
because he knows that his time is short!”
See the bottom of this post for how to use this daily devotional
READ ALOUD Revelation 12:10-12
“The Prince of Darkness Grim” is how Martin Luther speaks of the devil in his great hymn “A Mighty Fortress”. Luther often experienced bouts with the evil one in the form of fiery darts of temptation, fear, worry, doubt and suspicion. Scripture assigns various names to the enemy of our souls. The evil one is called our “adversary” (1 Peter 5:8), “father of lies” (John 8:44), “angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14), “ruler of this world” (John 12:31), “prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2), “god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4), the “dragon” and “ancient serpent” (Revelation 20:2).
Today’s Scripture identifies him as the “devil” and “accuser”. The epithet “devil” is a translation of the Greek diabolos, meaning “slanderer”. From the cosmos’ earliest days the ‘diabolical’ one has defamed the character of God and His people. Jesus called him “a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44), ever maligning God and the righteous. Thus, in today’s text he is called “the accuser of our comrades”.
N. T. Wright says that early Christians learned to see the evil one’s slander and accusation as the “supernatural ‘accusing’ activity standing not far behind the ‘accusations’ that were leveled against them” by Roman authorities and people (Revelation for Everyone). Christ followers were slandered and “informed” against for not joining in emperor worship and pagan festivities. Some were charged with ‘cannibalism’ for eating the body and blood of a man named Jesus, and others accused of ‘incest’ for so loving their “brothers” and “sisters” in Christ.
A second century letter known as “The Epistle to Diognetus” describes the slander against early Christians:
They love all men, and by all men are persecuted. They are unknown, and still they are condemned…They are dishonored, and in their very dishonor are glorified; they are defamed, and are vindicated. They are reviled, and yet they bless. (Christian Classics Ethereal Library)
Yet, of all the accusers of God and His people, the devil is unrivaled. In the Old Testament we see Satan accusing the “blameless and upright Job” before God (Job 1:8). The prophet Zechariah reveals the high priest of Israel at worship, and “Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him” (Zechariah 3:1). Thus, in today’s Scripture the saints in heaven call Satan “the accuser of our comrades”. Even today he continues to be the father of lies and deceit.
Perhaps as you are praying or worshipping you sense an accusing voice against you. “Who do you think you are, praying!” “Why would God ever listen to you!” Or, “Just think of how often you have failed God!” At such times of attack we do well to remember the words of the apostle Paul:
Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us (Romans 8:33-34).
We celebrate with the saints around God’s throne that through Christ’s death and resurrection, “the accuser of our comrades has been thrown down…” Christ is exalted and the evil one brought down!
Martin Luther is a case study on the accusations and attacks of the devil. Yet Luther reveled in knowing the defeat of our accuser. Luther sang:
The Prince of Darkness grim,
we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure,
for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.
(“A Mighty Fortress”)
With one word of commanding power Jesus brings down your accuser and mine! Rejoice! We have conquered!
READ ALOUD Revelation 12:10-12
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.