December 27, 2021

The Song of Heaven

R.C. Sproul
The Song of Heaven

Scripture often celebrates the Lord’s victories in song. One of these triumphal anthems is yet to be sung. Today, R.C. Sproul looks at the song of the redeemed in the book of Revelation, celebrating the victory of Jesus Christ at the climax of history.


You ought to pay attention to songs in the Bible. The Bible’s not a songbook, but you see that it’s not very often outside of the Psalms and that sort of thing where songs are mentioned and recorded in Scripture. You go back into the Old Testament. There was the Sword Song of Lamech, which was an evil type of song. But then to the Old Testament, you have songs like the Song of Moses or the Song of Miriam—“the horse and the rider thrown in the sea”—or the Song of Deborah, when she was the woman judge that led the people of Israel in victory against the enemies of Sisera and where he says, “The stars in their courses fought against Sisera.”

And throughout the Old Testament, you will have particular occasions where songs are sung. But the most frequent compression of songs that you find anywhere in the history of Israel are found at the outset of the New Testament. The Song of Elizabeth, the Song of Zechariah, the Song of Simeon—the Nunc dimittis—the Song of Mary—the Magnificat. You ever wonder why that was? Well, in Israel, the function of these songs was to celebrate a new and decisive moment in history where God’s victory had been brought to pass for His people. And so the primary function of these particular songs was to celebrate God’s latest victory.

And what John is saying here is we sing our songs, we remember the hymns, we sing the songs that were written and composed centuries ago, but someday the Lord is going to give to His people a new song. At the moment of final victory, there’s going to be a new song.

And guess what? There’s a pre-release of the words. God gives John a foretaste, for us, of that final triumph, and of that final victory, and of that song. And they sang a new song saying, “Thou art worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain and have redeemed us to God by your blood. Out of every tribe and every tongue and people and nation, and you have made us kings and priests to our God. And we shall reign on the earth.”

Those are the lyrics, though. That’s not the refrain. That’s just the introduction to the song because it said, “Then I looked and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures and the elders, and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands singing with a loud voice.”

Now here’s the chorus: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and riches and wisdom and dominion and honor and glory and blessing.” And every creature that is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth, and such as are in the sea and all that are in them. Not just every person, every creature joins in this chorus: the fish, the birds, the animals. They all get together. And I heard them saying, “Blessing and honor and glory and power be to him who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb forever and ever.” We serve Christ, and we worship Christ, and we adore Christ. Yes, out of gratitude and out of love, but ultimately for one basic reason: He’s worthy of our worship.