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, 2 who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. 3 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. 7 And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. 8 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. 9 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]
I love to look out of the airplane as we pass over new places or flying home happen to fly over our house below. I love looking at the roads and shops, churches and parks below. You can do the same with Google Earth or Apple maps by turning on the satellite feature. But somehow a real-time from-above perspective is more rewarding. It’s fun to see how things relate to each other and which places are actually closer to each other than you might have thought. Seeing things from above allows you a perspective that you just don’t have on the ground. You can even see how cars will meet each other, or that drivers will have to deal with traffic that they have no idea of at that moment.
One of the blessings and benefits of praising God is that of perspective. But it is of a different kind. Praise puts God in his proper place. He is above all. He rules from on high. He is to be honored and glorified. And all things are in his purview.
And we do not reign in that way. We do not rule over all. We are not on high. We do not deserve eternal glory and honor. We do not have all things in our view.
When we praise God, we are reminded of that. It puts things in perspective. If we’re thinking we’re not being treated fairly, we can call on him for justice and mercy. But we cannot call him to account. We answer to him. He does not answer to us. He rules. We are under his reign and rule.
But listen to these hymns of praise! There is not a matter of mere sovereignty. It’s not just that God is powerful and we are not. These hymns of praise go to the One who has redeemed us. He has ransomed us and make us a kingdom of priests who will reign with him. He is worthy of our praise for who he is. This is such a blessed and welcome relief to the kind of treatment he received when he was on earth 2000 years ago. But that was for a moment. This is an eternal hymn of praise.
That’s the other manner of perspective we gain from these hymns: His praise is eternal. His glory is never-ending. And our troubles, trials, difficulties, and challenges are temporary. Even if the difficulties we face are life-long, they are not eternal by means of Jesus’ redemption, mercy, and grace. Our troubles will one day end. His reign and rule will never end.
Praise puts our problems in perspective. Praise puts us in our proper perspective toward God. That’s good to remember, for hope in our trials and humility in our approach to God.