Four Songs and a Wedding
Gracious Lord, live in me in fullness today, and love through me with compassion. May all I meet see Jesus in me.
Read REVELATION 19:1-10
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing” (Martin Luther, A Mighty Fortress is our God). He’s the Christ, the Messiah, our Lord!
In a Sunday School class last year I asked, “How many of you would like to go to heaven”? Every hand in the class went up, most accompanied by smiles. But on the follow-up question I asked, “How many would like to go later on today”? Only one hesitant hand went up. I guess that shouldn’t be a surprise. Heaven often seems distant and slightly unreal! Cathy and I lived in Rhodesia and Zimbabwe for several years, and have returned seven times. God’s people in this land must wonder if history is, indeed, really moving steadily and purposefully toward a happy conclusion.
Yet, that is the truth of ch. 19! The silence at the end of ch. 18 is broken by “the roar of a great multitude” and the shouts of four Hallelujah songs. “Hallelujah” occurs here for the first time in Revelation (and for the first time in the New Testament!). The four songs recall the way Israel’s songbook ended, with four Hallelujah psalms, 146-149, all wrapped up in a lavish Psalm 150. Perhaps we should experience Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” not in the plush comfort of an auditorium seat, but rather surrounded by a mural depicting the smoldering wreckage of world civilizations and the ruin of all those who tried to play god just a little bit too long.
Why all this Hallelujah excitement? Jesus is getting married! After a long and bumpy courtship, with dangers of a broken engagement along the way, the wedding is now certain and is announced (7), and those with invitations are blessed (9). Have you responded to yours? It’s not too late!
Our God is both great and good. List aspects of God’s greatness and goodness most meaningful to you and then join the Hallelujah chorus!
Lord Jesus, Bridegroom of the church, I want to join in the Hallelujah choruses celebrating your triumph over evil. May You receive all glory!
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