THE SAME BUT DIFFERENT: This fifth perspective of Christ's victory seems very similar to the fourth. We've already seen God's wrath poured out on those who had the mark of the beast. But in that earlier perspective, we saw that those plagues were preceded by trumpet blasts warning people to repent, and that even in the as the plagues, dragons and beasts came there was time for them to repent.
This current perspective has two key differences. First, it begins with a picture of all of God's people (so that includes you!) having been made victorious by God's grace standing around a sea of crystal praising God. The saints will not need to endure the bowls of wrath that will be poured out.
Secondly, unlike the seven trumpet blasts, these bowls of wrath will give no warning and leave no time for repentance. These are the seven last plagues, because with them God's wrath is completed.
STAY AWAY: The story of the Bible is a story of a God who was grieved and injured by the rebellion of His creation, but who nonetheless pursued His children, redeemed them and welcomed them back into His presence. That story has come to an end here in Revelation 15. The elect have been gathered in and now God's wrath is being poured out on the unrepentant. Look at the fury those who had refused God's invitation of salvation will face in v8:
And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, and no one could enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed.
Praise God that He has saved you from experiencing this terrible wrath.
SONG CHALLENGE: One of the first songs that comes to mind when reading this chapter is of course By The Sea of Crystal. But as awesome as that song is, the actual words of the song sung by the saints around the crystal sea are given in v3-4:
Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty.
Just and true are your ways, King of the nations.
Who will not fear you, Lord, and bring glory to your name?
For you alone are holy.
All nations will come and worship before you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed.
Here's the challenge: using a little creative license by adjusting the syllable count for each line, put these words to a familiar tune. This would make an excellent song to sing together in church! For example, perhaps we could add a verse to By The Sea of Crystal:
Great and mar-vel-ous
are your deeds Lord God!
Just and true are your ways,
King of nations.
Who will not fear you
and bring you gl-ory
For you alone are holy,
Lord God Almighty
Or you can try to have some fun with it. Put it to a simple tune like Mary Had a Little Lamb:
Mar-vel-ous are your deeds, are your deeds, are your deeds!
Just and true are your ways,
Who will not fear you!
Now you try! Use the comment box below. Suggest the tune of a favorite hymn (or even a familiar pop or country song??), make a few small adjustments to the words and meter, and share it with us!
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: The God whose deeds are great and mighty - the King of the nations (v3)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you will live today knowing that you will be one of the saints gathered around the sea of crystal!
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: