The book of Revelation can be a bit intimidating. It is full of imponderable mysteries and fantastic visions that the author himself found so difficult to describe that he kept saying, “it was like…it was like…” If you try to read commentaries on the book you will find that many contradict one another in their interpretations of what it all means. It can put us off from even venturing into the book with any hope of understanding.
And yet it is the only book in the Bible which has a promise attached to it for those who read it: “Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it…” It could well be that this blessing is not found in the understanding of the visions and prophecies, but in the turning of our thoughts from the visible and temporal world around us to the world for which we are purposed and destined. Such an orientation propels us beyond the drudgery and drama of the things that will all too soon pass away, to the kingdom which will never end. Regularly fixing our gaze there gives us an entirely different and exalted perspective which puts the struggles and cares of this world in their proper place in the grand scheme of things.
Another blessing from this book is how it puts Jesus in His proper place in the grand scheme of things, as the veil of heaven is pulled back just a bit to allow us to glimpse some of the glorious worship around the throne. Here we see Jesus, the Lamb that was slain, glorified. We see Him shining like the sun. We see Him coming on a white horse, mightily leading His armies, and called Faithful & True. Revelation reveals Jesus to be the ONLY One worthy to open the seal, but also as the merciful Savior, gently knocking and patiently waiting for us to open the door and fellowship with Him, and so much more!
Through the lyrics in this anthem we join in one of the many worship scenes in heaven. Some of these scenes are populated by angels and creatures, and others by saints and elders. This differentiation is important because one of the first things we praise Jesus for in this song is Salvation. Of all His creatures, we are the only ones who can truly give heartfelt praise for this aspect of His nature. While angels can acknowledge this, as witnesses of that work, only we, the redeemed, can testify to it from the viewpoint of recipients. If you paid the debt of a friend and another person witnessed it, the latter person might deeply admire you for your generosity, but the friend whose debt you paid would admire, love, and revere you because the act was personal to them.
So when you sing the word “salvation,” make it personal. He is YOUR Savior. Think about where’d you’d be without Him. Refresh your wonder at what it took to offer you the gift of salvation—what it cost Him, how unworthy and unable you were to receive it apart from the total grace He gave—He alone!
“Glory” is also His. Glory is one of those words that we all know but often find hard to define. Essentially glory is some observable manifestation of the wonder of God’s nature, character, or attributes. Glory radiates from God like light shines from the sun, and we, like the moon, only reflect that light—a borrowed glory, if you will.
The psalmist tells us to “ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name.” As we sing this song, that is what we are doing. We acknowledge, ascribe to God what is due Him, and Him only. There are some who have told me that they feel like God is some sort of glory hound. That would only be true of someone who did not deserve it. If someone worked hard to earn a fortune we would feel he “deserved” it, while if another person coveted that fortune or tried to steal it, we would think they were evil. That is how it is with Glory—God deserves it—no one else does. He deserves glory for all the wonders of His creation. And, in a sense, He “earned” it through the great personal cost of our salvation. His glory is not merely something we bestow on Him, it is something He possesses by virtue of who He is and all He has done. You cannot separate God from His glory and He still be God.
There is so much to consider and yet we’ve only looked at two of the first words of this anthem! Take a look at the other words we ascribe to Him here and think about which ones resonate the most to you about Him. Honor? Power? Might? Wonderful? Own these words and you will proclaim their truth.
As the moon reflects the glory of the sun, we are meant to reflect His glory. Consider ways to intentionally reflect the glory of His attributes to others—His love, His grace, His mercy, etc. When you extend these reflected glories through His enablement, You bring Him the glory due unto His name.
by Sheri Cook, Director of Special Ministries