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
C. S. Lewis wrote The Screwtape Letters as a series of directives from senior demon Screwtape, who works in the “Lowerarchy” of Hell, to his nephew demon Wormwood, a young, bumbling, novice tempter. In response to Wormwood’s question about the extent of humanity’s knowledge of the devil and demons, Screwtape writes: “That question, at least for the present stage of the struggle, has been answered for us by the High Command. Our policy, for the moment, is to conceal ourselves.”
Because the demonic policy is to conceal their existence, today’s secular culture is oblivious to the dark forces at loose in the world. Historians, philosophers and pundits wring their hands trying to understand the roots of war, violence and injustice, but do not comprehend the fact of demonic power. In contrast, the apostle Paul recognizes the spiritual war pervading the world: “our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of the present darkness” (Ephesians 6:12).
Today’s worship song calls for heaven to celebrate that Satan is cast down: “Rejoice then, you heavens and those who dwell in them!” But a call for heaven to celebrate is also a call for those on earth to be on guard: “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.”
Here in a few words we see the explanation, and the only explanation, of what is going so terribly wrong with the world: Satan’s wrath is great, and he knows that his time is short. The roots of human pain and misery are traced here to the cosmic battle of far greater dimensions than our mortal lives. The evil one’s goal is to destroy. N. T. Wright says of this battle:
If we are able to give this any meaning in our imaginations, it must be that the moral and political struggles of which we are aware, the battles between good and evil, between justice and injustice, which go on in this life, reflect a more primeval battle which has taken place in the spiritual sphere. (Revelation for Everyone)
Our battle is not our battle alone. “Our struggles are not to be shrugged off as insignificant. They are part of the great conflict between good and evil.” (Leon Morris, The Book of Revelation) Satan hates God and all that is good, but cannot attack God. Therefore, Satan turns his hatred against God’s image-bearers.
Perhaps you wonder, as I often do, why Christians around the world are facing such persecution! Why is there such dark, irrational hatred and evil! We see in today’s text that it is because Satan, the bitter enemy of our souls, has been cast down to earth and wars against us. The apostle Peter endured much suffering and sought to prepare Christians for the battle: “Discipline yourselves; keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
So we discipline ourselves and stay on the alert. Soon we shall wear the victor’s crown and celebrate around God’s throne. We can sing even now the victory song: “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…”
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.