And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. (Revelation 15:3)
Each Sunday morning when our services begin the choir calls the church to worship. Our current song selection is the short chorus He is Exalted which is a good choice because as our first act of worship our attention is immediately focused on Jesus Christ the one who is worthy of worship. Revelation 5:12 declares, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.” Singing praises that acknowledge the right of our Lord to receive worship is well pleasing to God. Scripture commands us to sing spiritual songs and make melody in our hearts which in turn makes the song service an integral part of our worship.
It is very important that we worship God with songs that have words and music that honor Him. When the apostle John was allowed to see into heaven, he was awestruck by the thousands upon thousands that sang the praises of the Lamb. Would it surprise you to learn that heaven sings a song that was first sung on earth? What kind of song could be sung here that would be a proper song for heaven? One of the songs John heard was the song of Moses. We know the lyrics of this song because they are recorded in Exodus 15.
The first stanzas of the song are very much unlike songs heard in churches today. Moses’ song began with an execution. Israel sang about the destruction of Pharaoh and his armies in the Red Sea. They were singing about the wrath of God and His vengeance upon His enemies. Would you consider it odd if we were to begin our services singing about hell rather than heaven? It might be strange but it would not be unbiblical. Deliverance from death and hell are excellent reasons for worship. Gospel presentations should begin with God’s wrath on sinners. We cannot know we need the Saviour unless we know there is something to be saved from.
If we should begin our services singing about hell, we would not want to sing four stanzas about it and then quit. Neither would we start a gospel presentation and stop with the bad news of condemnation. There is more to talk about and there is more to sing about. The good news is the salvation found in Christ. The good news is that we can be delivered from the wrath of God because Christ died to take away the cause of God’s wrath. Our sins are the cause and Christ’s death is the remedy. The penalty for sin is everlasting punishment in the fires of hell. Jesus died in our place, suffered our hell, and paid the penalty for us.
Moses’ song goes on and other stanzas speak of the glorious expectation of heaven (Exodus 15:17). The saints in heaven sing this verse because they experience this promise of God made good. The song also contains our familiar theme, the exaltation of Christ. Verse 18 says, “The Lord shall reign forever and ever.” This is also a familiar refrain in heaven: “…there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15).
As you sing, pay attention to the words. Choose songs that magnify Jesus Christ. Carefully consider the words of In Christ Alone, O Magnify the Lord, And Can it Be, and My Heart Is Filled. The gospel is presented in these songs; and friends, this is worth singing about!
Pastor V. Mark Smith