WORSHIP SONG EIGHT (Part 1)
After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying,
Salvation and glory and power to our God,
for his judgments are true and just;
he has judged the great whore
who corrupted the earth with her fornication,
and he has avenged on her the blood of his servants.”
Once more they said,
The smoke goes up from her forever and ever.”
And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who is seated on the throne, saying,
And from the throne came a voice saying,
“Praise our God,
all you his servants,
and all who fear him,
small and great.”
Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty thunderpeals, crying out,
For the Lord our God
the Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and exult
and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready;
to her it has been granted to be clothed
with fine linen, bright and pure”—
for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
See the bottom of this post for how to use this daily devotional
READ ALOUD Revelation 19:1-8
“How long?” the saints in heaven are asking (Revelation 6:10). How long before God judges evil in the earth? And “How long?” Martin Luther King asked in a Birmingham speech in 1965. Quick came Dr. King’s answer: “How long? Not long, because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” (“Our God is Marching On”) King closed his Birmingham speech confident of God’s justice: “O, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! Be jubilant my feet! Our God is marching on. Glory, hallelujah! Glory, hallelujah!”
Yes! Glory, hallelujah! The great multitude in heaven lifts up its victory shout: “Hallelujah!…Salvation and glory and power to our God for his judgements are true and just.” God’s moral universe is bending towards the day when “he has judged the great whore who corrupted the earth with her fornication, and he has avenged on her the blood of his servants.”
The Bible uses the symbol of whoredom to portray worship of the world’s idols rather than the true God. In The Revelation the great whore “is Babylon the Great, that great system that leads people away from the worship of God and to their own destruction.” (Robert Mounce, The Book of Revelation) Earlier in The Revelation Babylon is identified as “Babylon the great, mother of whores and of earth’s abominations…drunk with the blood of the saints and the blood of the witness to Jesus” (Revelation 17:5-6). Though God’s judgment may seem to us slow in coming, He will judge at the right time. He will faithfully judge evil and avenge the blood of His servants.
When God comes to judge the world everyone will see that His judgments are “true and just”. God will judge Babylon, the great whore, because she has “corrupted the earth with her fornication” “Not content with her own evil vice, she spawns idolatry and evil practices throughout the world.” (Robert Mounce, The Book of Revelation) She is, “Babylon the great, mother of whores and of earth’s abominations” (Revelation 17:5). There is no greater evil than leading others in evil.
The “great multitude in heaven” also shouts “Hallelujah!” because it sees that God “has avenged on her [Babylon] the blood of his servants.” God is not forgetful of those who have followed the Lamb even unto death. He will judge righteously because He “alone can see the inmost thoughts and desires of any man…he alone has that purity which can judge without prejudice…he alone has the wisdom to find the right judgment and the power to apply it.” (William Barclay, Daily Study Bible) The great multitude shouts a second “Hallelujah!” as they see the smoke going up from Babylon “for ever and ever.” Babylon will be thrown down and never rise again.
How long? Not long! Until then we strengthen and sustain ourselves in worship.
READ ALOUD Revelation 19:1-8
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.