Monday, February 18, 2013

Who is Great and Marvelous?

694.  "Who is Great and Marvelous?
February 18, 2013
Revelation 15-Part 17
Great and marvelous are Your works,
O Lord God, the Almighty;
Righteous and true are Your ways,
King of the nations!
Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Your name?
For You alone are holy;
For all the nations will come and worship before You, for Your righteous acts have been revealed.
Revelation 15:3b-4


A meteor hit Russia last week.
How great and marvelous are Your works, O Lord God, the Almighty.
Snow fell upon my yard last weekend.
How great and marvelous are Your works, O Lord God, the Almighty.
I am breathing, walking, talking, seeing, smelling, hearing, tasting today.
How great and marvelous are Your works, O Lord God, the Almighty.

John is listening to the vast choir of tribulation redeemed saints singing their song of victory, before the throne of God and before God's wrath is finally outpoured on the earth. Our key verse is from Exodus 15:1-18 and Deuteronomy 32:1-43.

Author Charles Swindoll comments on these verses:
These songs refer to deliverance from Egypt through the ten plagues, God's defeat of the Egyptian army, and Israel's preparation for entrance into the Promised Land. Both songs, the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb, praise God for who He is and what He has done.
One commentator contrasted the two songs, Moses' song and the Lamb's song:
  • sung at the Red Sea/sung at the crystal sea;
  • triumph over Egypt/triumph over Babylon;
  • tells how God brought His people out/tells how God brings His people in;
  • was the first song in scripture/is the last;
  • commemorated the execution of a foe, the expectation of the saints, the exaltation of the Lord/deals with the same three themes.
He is God the Almighty, the Righteous and true King, who alone is holy. Whether the songs are old or new, the purpose of worship is to glorify God for His awesome Person and awe-inspiring works.
Unlike teaching and preaching, musical ministry will endure throughout eternity.

Are we practicing our praising God now so we will be ready when we get to heaven?


Judgment is coming!
The end is near!

Swindoll describes it as a message of doom from the temple of God. The seven angels have seven bowls full of God's wrath, the last seven plagues.

These angels are dressed as priests because they come for the sacrificing of a great sacrifice to the offended holiness and justice of God. (Seiss)

Bowl refers to a shallow, saucer-like dish used for boiling liquids as well as for drinking or pouring libations. (An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon)

These shallow saucers were familiar items often associated with various function of the temple worship, such as wine (Amos 6:6) and blood sacrifice (Ex. 27:3). Their flat shallowness pictures how the divine judgments will be emptied instantly, rather than slowly poured, drowning those who refused to drink the cup of salvation. (MacArthur)

Plagues literally means blow or wound. Instead of long, drawn-out epidemics, these have sudden impacts-swift, severe, destructive, and fierce. These will be the last expression of God's wrath toward the inhabitants of the earth. They will climax at the Battle of Armageddon and the return of Christ. God's judgment will accomplish its purpose and come to an end. Its purpose is to avenge the holocaust inflicted on the saints at the hands of the Antichrist and his henchmen during the great tribulation. Its end will be the reward of the resurrected saints when they come to life and reign with Christ for a thousand years. (Swindoll)

Along with wrath, God's grace is revealed. His mercy during the tribulation delayed the full measure of judgment to give people an opportunity to repent (2 Peter 3:9). Don't presume on God's mercy. Postponed judgment is not the same as denied judgment.

What can we learn from this chapter?
  • We should express gratitude for God's promise of protection. Do we have the hope of redemption and deliverance? Am I ready to be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air? (1 Thess. 4:17)
  • We should be concerned for those who choose to reject Christ.Sanctify Christ as Lord in my heart, then be ready to make a defense to everyone who asks me to give an account for the hope that is in me. 
  • Treat unbelievers with "gentleness and reverence." Show the sweet fruit of the Spirit, as in Galatians 5. (Swindoll)
Notice that the last verse says no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the the seven angels were fulfilled.

Why can they not enter? The temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power.
In Isaiah 6, he witnessed the same thing, the Lord sitting on His throne, lofty and exalted, with the heavenly temple filled with smoke.

The chapter began with and ended with the concept of finality and irretrievablility. (Falwell)


Bless the Lord O my soul.
Worship His holy name.
Sing like never before, oh my soul.
Worship His holy name.

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