Revelation’s Revelations

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is dbr-podcast-link-graphic-e1650918496934.jpg

David Bahn-Reflections Podcast

The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.

5:6 And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying,

“Worthy are you to take the scroll
    and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
    from every tribe and language and people and nation,
10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
    and they shall reign on the earth.”

11 Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice,

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honor and glory and blessing!”

13 And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying,

“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”

14 And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.

Revelation 1:1-3; 5:6-14 [ESV]

Hawaii Beach | Oahu, Hawaii | April 2022

For these next weeks I will be looking at the hymns of praise in the book of Revelation. So first a word about the book of Revelation. A pastor from a church that had experienced much persecution was being interviewed on a Christian radio station. At the mention of the book of Revelation the interviewer got very excited. He said, “You must be very pleased in the keen interest in this book in many churches in America!” The pastor, however, said, “I only came to really appreciate the message of that book when experiencing persecution. I don’t think you can understand it unless you understand the plight of those who are being persecuted for their faith.” I think the radio interviewer was taken aback. But the comment always stuck with me.

If you want to read the book of Revelation in any truly meaningful way, read it with a view from a prison cell or severe hardship and fear because you are a Christian. Then you’ll get past the apocalyptic imagery and symbolic numerology and hear a message of hope and comfort for the people of God. This book is not for fanciful speculation, but for comfort and courage to Jesus followers as we see the world around us spinning out of control, or must endure ridicule because we hold the to-the-world quaint belief that God is real, his judgment imminent, and Jesus is our only hope. 

Which brings me to the praise hymns of Revelation. There are several. They celebrate the victory of the Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the earth, and his rule and reign on the throne of God, and the joy that is ours who are his. 

Just this morning I was listening to the Lutheran Hour podcast (I highly recommend it!). A comment really caught my attention. It went something like this, Jesus isn’t just a ticket to heaven. He is the reason we want to be there – to be with him. There is more to our salvation than pie in the sky in the sweet by and by. These hymns of praise celebrate the eternal joy of being with Jesus, seeing him vindicated, exalted on high as he so rightly deserves. And having every tear wiped from our eyes, except those grateful tears of joy in his salvation.

I look forward to sharing some more specific reflections on these hymns in the weeks to come, but for now I encourage you to sing them with me, as we join the hosts of heaven, saints, martyrs, apostles, prophets, angels and archangels singing:

“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”


PS: Somewhere I learned a method of daily Bible reading that Dietrich Bonhoeffer advised. He suggested that a person take a passage of 10 to 15 verses from the Bible and meditate on them over the course of a week. I have found this to be personally edifying. That has been my practice over the years in this blog. And by the way, I write these blogs as my own personal spiritual discipline. If you are edified by them, so much the better. 

  1. Barbara Eldridge said:

    Thank you. I do look forward to them

    • These hymns from Revelation really deepend my prayer life years ago. I’m hoping that happens again now. Blessings!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: