So much praising going on. It is such a delight to picture faithful ones singing and dancing while giving glory to God. Why is it that we don’t see more of that in our culture today? I’m not saying it’s not there at all. We’ve all seen how some groups and churches go all out with dancing, praise banners, and musical instruments.
What does your praise look like behind closed doors? Do you have a tambourine hidden in your closet for those moments when you go all out? “Let the faithful rejoice that he honors them. Let them sing for joy as they lie on their beds.” God honors the faithful. That is certainly something to put joy on our lips!
After our reading yesterday, I feel like the light switch was just turned on. Truly our mourning is turned to dancing. Psalm 30:11-12 pictures it like this. “You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!” Such a beautiful compliment the praise given here for judgment and salvation.
I had highlighted verse 1 along the way, and it’s good to see those “notes to self” in my Bible. I wish I had put a date on it – there was even a yellow sticker which signifies “God’s Plan and Promise.” I think that is a surprisingly good summation of what we have going on in this whole chapter. It was God’s plan, his will, and his intention, that his people would go through their time of desolation. For those who endured, the promise of salvation and a feast in his presence would come. “O Lord, I will honor and praise your name, for you are my God.”
What a beautiful passage to lift us up today. Verse 12 seems to close out the first section of oracles presented by Isaiah. We have already read about the destruction of Israel and Judah and how God was going to use the Assyrian power to do his dirty work. But there were also shreds of hope thrown into the message. What was missing was the people’s response.
It’s good to see how the people, the remnant, respond to God’s truth. They knew what God was going to do, and they stayed the course. They witnessed with their own eyes the horror. Now they say, “I will praise you, O Lord! You were angry with me, but not any more. Now you comfort me.” God did exactly what he said he would and came for them.
Our text today stands in stark contrast to the doom and gloom of our last reading about the fall of Babylon. It’s not the first time we’ve had an abrupt scene change, so to speak, as we’ve been reading through Revelation. Part of this book’s beauty is it’s unpredictability. What we do see as a constant theme is God’s unfailing love and patience with his fallen world. He wants the banquet table to be full.
We see a passage that ties together several main points from the New Testament. Included are praise, celebration, equality, blessedness, rejoicing, righteousness, and purity of the bride. It doesn’t matter how unworthy we may sometimes feel. “Praise our God, all his servants, all who fear him, from the least to the greatest.”
I was expecting the final trumpet to bring about something horrible. Weren’t you? Instead, there is rejoicing in heaven. God’s kingdom has fully come! We read, “The world has now become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever.” The Book of Revelation could end right here. Since it doesn’t we know there is more to come. What happens next?
The victory has been won! Will we see how the people on earth respond? Will those “of the world” finally repent? Will the faithful be rescued at last?