A New Song
“This great choir sang a wonderful new song in front of the throne of God and before the four living beings and the twenty–four elders. And no one could learn this song except those 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. “ – Revelation 14:3 NLT
I don’t know why, but this chapter brings to mind the old Carpenter’s song. I know you’re going to hate me for this because you won’t be able to get it out of your head now. But part of the lyrics are:
Sing, sing a song,
Sing out loud, sing out strong,
Sing of the good things, not bad,
Sing of the happy, not sad . . .
Chapter 14 opens up in with an image that is direct contrast to what John saw in chapter 13. In place of the dragon and the two beasts, we see the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ Himself standing on Mount Zion surrounded by the 144,000 Jews who have come to have a saving faith in Him during the tribulation period. And they are singing a “new song.” What is this song? According to Jamieson, Fausset & Brown’s commentary on Revelation:
The song is that of victory after conflict with the dragon, beast, and false prophet: never sung before, for such a conflict had never been fought before; therefore new: till now the kingdom of Christ on earth had been usurped; they sing the new song in anticipation of His blood-bought kingdom with His saints.
This is a victory song. These 144,000 have survived the worst the enemy had to throw at them. They had made it through the tribulation and the assault of Satan. They had remained spiritually pure (Revelation 14:4). They represent just the beginning of the Jews who will come to faith in Christ before God is done (Revelation 14:4). And unlike those who worshiped the Antichrist and ended up with the mark of the beast on their hand or forehead (Revelation 13:16), these individuals have the name of God written on their foreheads (Revelation 14:1). They belong to Him. So they sing a new song – a song of joy and victory. God is on the verge of defeating His great enemy once and for all. Yet in the midst of it all, He will give those who are alive on the earth one more time to respond to His “eternal gospel” (Revelation 14:6). He gives them one more opportunity to choose between the worship of God or the Antichrist.
“Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has arrived, and worship the one who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water!” – Revelation 14:7 NET
Chapter 14 is full of good news and bad news. It is a chapter of contrasts. The redeemed are singing a new song. Yet the judgment of God is falling on those who refuse to acknowledge Him as God. But in the midst of it all He is giving them one more chance to repent and worship Him. In this chapter we clearly see God’s holiness, judgment, justice, and wrath, but also His love and mercy. Even to the end He is calling for men to return to Him as the only source of their salvation from the judgment to come. We worship a holy God who must ultimately punish sin and those who rebel against Him. But He will not cease calling men to repentance – even right up until the end.
Father, I can’t wait until the new song is sung. I can’t wait until you bring all of this to an end. This world is not my home, I just passing through. My treasures are laid up in heaven. We live in a fallen and flawed world, but You are going to restore everything back to the way it was meant to be. You are going to continue redeeming men to a right relationship to You right up until the end. Because You are faithful and true. And You are going to keep Your promises to the people of Israel. You will restore many to a right relationship with You again. Not because of anything they have done, but because You are faithful and true. Thank You for reminding me of that this morning. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men