Worship in Revelation

This is actually a post I put on my personal blog. I'm duplicating it here because I think that it may be relevant, as musicians in our cell, youth group, or church, because knowing what the Bible says about worship directs us to the way God wants us to worship.

Worship in Revelation

Revelation 4-7
Revelation is not only a "doomsday" book, but it also offers an insight into what worship is like in heaven, and will be like in the future. In Revelation 4, John is brought up into the presence of God in heaven, and what he sees is nothing short of God's powerful majesty, splendor, and glory.
In particular, he sees the multitudes worshipping God, and we are given the exact words sung. Here are two examples:

"Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!" (Rev 5:12)

"Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!" (Rev 7:12)

There is one particular pattern to these, and all the other songs in Revelation, that is, the lack of the word "I". There is no reference to the self, not even phrases resembling "thank You for what You have done for me", nor "I will praise you with my lips". Everything is about God in worship, because faced with His overwhelming presence, all you can do is to give Him praise and worship.

We won't see a lot of songs we sing now, whether in service or cell group, in heaven. Take, for example, United Live's "Take it All":

"Jesus we're living for Your name, never be ashamed of You. Our praise, and all we are today, take take take it all"

In that one chorus, the self is referred to three times ("we", "our", "we") - as many times as Jesus (Jesus, Your, You)! The same goes not only for contemporary songs, but also for hymns, like "Be Thou MY Vision".

The songs we sing therefore deviate from the Revelation model quite abit - while worship in Revelation points to God, the songs we sing often point God to us - there is the danger of having self take precedence over God. While such songs often enable us to express our feelings of love & gratitude to God, and thus have a role to play in worship (after all, my favourite song is "Just Let Me Say", a love song to God), we must always remember that it is all about God, that songs that describe His undilluted (from thinking about oneself) presence, majesty, glory, splendor, power, etc. When worshipping, think of Revelation 4-7!

Worthy is the Lamb
Seated on the throne
Crown You now with many crowns
You reign victorious

High and lifted up
Jesus Son of God
The Darling of Heaven crucified
Worthy is the Lamb
Worthy is the Lamb

1 comment:

Barry said...

Awesome. When I asked my wife what was her favorite part of Here In Your Presence, she immediately said the chorus. The song is a turning song. As people are changed to focus on God. I like to use turning songs early on in worship before getting to the focus on God songs.

I certainly will challenge our worship team with Revelation type worship.

God Bless