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Lent 2016 Devotional—March 17

Lent 2016 Devotional—March 17

WORSHIP SONG SEVEN

Cover of Lent 2015 Devotional Book from Water from RockRevelation 15:1-4

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.”

March 17th

See the bottom of this post for how to use this daily devotional

PRAY

READ ALOUD Revelation 15:1-4

REFLECT

Alfred Edersheim in his classic work, The Temple: Its Ministry and Services, tells how “At the evening sacrifice on the Sabbath the song of Moses in Exodus 15 was sung.” This is a song Moses sang in triumph after God miraculously brought the Israelites through the Red Sea. The words of the song are stamped on the memory of the Jews:

Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the Lord:

“I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously;
horse and rider he has thrown into the sea.
The Lord is my strength and my might,
and he has become my salvation;
this is my God, and I will praise him,
my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
The Lord is a warrior;
the Lord is his name
(Exodus 15:1-3).

Clearly “the song of Moses, the servant of God” is not about Moses but about God (Exodus 15:4-18). The song celebrates God’s deliverance of His people from death in Egypt by means of the blood of the Passover lamb, and then bringing them safely through the Red Sea.

In today’s text we see heaven’s victors singing alongside another sea, “the sea of glass”. As Moses led the Israelites long ago, so Jesus leads His people through a sea of persecution to heaven’s shore. This is the “new exodus” won by the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 7:14; 12:11). Christ is our Passover Lamb sacrificed for us and ransoming us for God (1 Corinthians 5:7). Forever we will sing Moses’ song of victory and the song of the Lamb. These two songs blend together many Old Testament passages as seen in the following: “Great and amazing are your deeds” (Psalm 92:5; 98:1; 111:2; 139:14). “Just and true are your ways” (Psalm 145:17). “For you alone are holy” (1 Samuel 2:2; Psalm 99:3; 111:9). “All nations will come and worship before you” (Psalm 86:9). “Your judgements have been revealed” (Psalm 98:2).

Although both songs are distinctly Jewish they celebrate the day all the nations come to God and His righteous judgments are revealed to all. Heaven’s martyrs “celebrate the victory God has won through their death and vindication, not by praising him for their own deliverance, but by celebrating its effect on the nations, in bringing them to worship God.” (Richard Bauckham, The Theology of the Book of Revelation) We will join our voices with those of “every tribe and language and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9) in worship of God and the Lamb.

John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress is a wondrous allegory of Christian, an Everyman character, making his journey from his hometown, the City of Destruction, to heaven’s Celestial City. Bunyan closes his work with this magnificent scene:

Now I saw in my dream, that these two men went in at the gate; and lo, as they entered, they were transfigured; and they had raiment put on that shone like gold. There were also that met them with harps and crowns, and gave them to them; the harps to praise withal, and the crowns in token of honor. Then I heard in my dream, that all the bells in the city rang again for joy, and that it was said unto them, ‘Enter ye into the joy of your Lord’. I also heard the men themselves, that they sang with a loud voice, saying, ‘Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever…’ And after that they shut up the gates; which, when I had seen, I wished myself among them.

Ah yes! We would wish ourselves among them! But until we enter into the joy of our Lord, we lift our voices in worship to Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb!

READ ALOUD Revelation 15:1-4

WORSHIP

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.

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