“Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty!
Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints!
Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name?
For You alone are holy.
For all nations shall come and worship before You,
For Your judgments have been manifested.”
While the tribulation continues on earth, John’s attention is drawn once again to the scene in heaven. The contrast alone should be enough to persuade us to surrender to Christ. Earth is experiencing the wrath of God, while heaven is being filled with sweet and continuous praise. Those who have been rescued from the tyrannical reign of the Antichrist stand before the throne and worship.
One of the evidences that a person has met Christ and been set free from sin is a desire for worship. While it is not required to fall on our knees, lift our hands, or even sing loudly, it is hard to imagine a person who has been impacted by the love and mercy of God who will not offer the loudest praise. Just the other night in our worship service, I noticed one young lady who humbly turned, faced her chair and knelt in worship. She has been growing so much in her relationship with Jesus of late that she could not resist the desire to bow in worship. I think we can learn a lot from the praise song of the redeemed found here in a Revelation 15.
““Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty!”
Their praise stemmed from focusing upon the works of God. As they stood before the Lord, they recalled the way in which they had been redeemed. Since these are tribulation saints, we know they had neglected the things of God for most of their lives and ignored the gospel. Still, the persistent love of God hunted them down and won them over. They, like we, could look back to the cross, where the love of God was poured out to redeem them from sin and give eternal life. Reflecting upon the work God has done is vital to a life of praise.
“Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints! Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy.”
As important as it is to look back upon the works of God, it is also vital that we look up to the person of God. He is worthy of the highest praise for what He has done, and also for who He is. Their praise stems from remembering three things about the nature of God. First, He is just; second, He is the king; and third, He is holy. All of the judgments of God are just. We often accuse Him of being unfair, however when His judgment is finally meted out upon a Christ-rejecting world, we will see how mercy and truth have met one another, and how righteousness and peace have kissed.
“For all nations shall come and worship before You, For Your judgments have been manifested.”
Finally, their worship includes an understanding of the promises of God. The judgments that the Word of God has warned about are finally coming to pass. Peter speaks of those who mock God because He waits so long to execute judgment; failing to recognize it is His mercy which holds back His judgment. One of the best ways to increase a heart of praise is to focus upon the promises of God. Too often, in dire circumstances, we look only to our surroundings, instead of looking into the promises of God. The saint who trusts the promise over the circumstances he faces, or the emotions they stir up, is the saint whose life will be filled with the loudest praise.
Questions for Revelation 15
Chapter 6 began the Great Tribulation. After several chapters of seeing these judgments poured out on the Christ-rejecting world, we have a pause to show us some of the key players of this time and to remind us of the big picture. In chapter 15 we resume those judgments and see that this time of Tribulation is wrapping up soon.
1. In verse 1 we read that John sees another sign, “great and marvelous”. As if some of the things that we have already seen weren’t amazing enough! What is the sign that he sees and what about it is marvelous?
2. In verse 2 we see a sea of glass and a group of people standing upon it. There is a similar picture around the throne of God in Revelation 4:6. The idea is that there are no waves; the sea is at rest. God is not fretting or worried, but rather is at rest on His throne. Yet this sea is mingled with fire, suggestive of both trial and refining. Who is standing on the sea? What are they doing? Why do they have such great peace?
3. In verses 3-4 we read that they sing two songs. The first is the song of Moses found in Exodus 15:1-19. Read this now. What is this song all about, and what does it celebrate about the Lord?
4. The second is the song of the Lamb recorded in these verses. What does this song celebrate about Jesus?
5. What part of God’s character is unique to Him alone according to verse 4? Now read Leviticus 19:2. God alone is holy, yet we are called to be holy as He is. How can we do this? Look up Eze 36:27 for the answer!
6. As the seven angels come out of the temple they are given seven bowls. According to verses 6-8 what do these bowls contain?
7. Look at verse 8. God’s glory and power fill the temple. This reminds us of 2 Chronicles 7:1-4 when the glory comes down on Solomon’s temple. What does this awareness of the glory of God produce in the people in this passage? Pray that God would reveal His glory to you in new ways both today and throughout your life.