WORSHIP SONG EIGHT (Part 2)
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
Heaven is by definition beyond our experience, but humans are reduced to using the language of our experience to try and describe it. Efforts to describe it are like “trying to play Wagner on a toothcomb.” (Milton Walsh, Second Friends: C. S. Lewis and Ronald Knox in Conversation) What John sees in heaven he describes with his experience of weddings in first century Judea. There were three episodes to the traditional Jewish marriage of John’s day: the Betrothal, the Marriage Ceremony, and the Marriage Feast. (Alfred Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah)
When a father saw that it was time for his son to marry he would choose a bride for him and enter into a betrothal covenant with the bride’s father. “From the moment of betrothal both parties were regarded, and treated in law…as if they had actually been married, except as regarded their living together.” (Alfred Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah) This betrothal time would usually last for a year, during which the bridegroom would prepare for them an apartment in his father’s house.
Then on the evening of the marriage ceremony the bride was led from her home to the home of her husband. All of the arrangements for the marriage and its feast were the responsibilities of the groom and his father (Matthew 22:2; John 2:9). Edersheim describes the festive marriage procession:
First came the sounds of music; then they who distributed among the people wine and oil, and nuts among the children; next the bride covered by her bridal veil, her long hair flowing, surrounded by her companions, and led by friends of the bridegroom…All around were n festive array, some carried torches, or lamps on poles, those nearest had myrtle branches and chaplets of flowers. Everyone rose to salute the procession, or join it. (The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah)
When they arrived at the bridegroom’s home they would celebrate the marriage ceremony in a room or tent set up by the bridegroom. Then the bridegroom and bride consummated their marriage. It was then time for the marriage feast to begin, up to seven days of eating, drinking, reveling and rejoicing in the marriage. Jesus intended this to be a picture of the endless, eternal Marriage Feast of the Lamb! As explored in previous days the great whore of Babylon is destroyed. The long appointed time has come for God’s people, the Bride, to take her rightful place with the Lamb.
The great English preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon described the Marriage Feast of the Lamb like this:
What bliss to be there! What joy to be there, not as spectators, but as part of the Bride that shall then be taken by her Husband! My Soul, you shall swim in happiness, you shall dive in seas of inconceivable delight by reason of your union with Christ and your delight in Him and His delight in you. (The C. H. Spurgeon Collection)
We live in the betrothal period of our relationship with Christ as He is preparing for us a place in His Father’s house. This is the time for preparing ourselves for God’s prepared place, by worshipping and following the Lamb. In days of darkness and trial we hold to the Bridegroom’s promise: “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:3).
Come, Lord Jesus! Come!
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.