Three ‘REASONS’ for all NATIONS to WORSHIP GOD: And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God. They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying: “Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints! Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, for Your judgments have been manifested.” (Rev. 15:2-4)
In an attempt to describe his heavenly vision, Apostle John reaches back into the Old Testament to teach us about God’s judgment and grace. God had delivered Israel from the land of Egypt, after which they had sung a song of victory on the shore of the Red Sea (Exod. 15). In his vision, John saw a great company of people in heaven singing with their harps while standing on a sea of glass mingled with fire. They had overcome in their fight of faith by refusing to worship the beast, his image, and the number of his name during the tribulation period. The victory over the beast was won through their faith in Christ (1 John 5:4, 5) and their refusal to submit to the Antichrist. Truly, Moses, the servant of God, and the Lamb of God have come together to make this marvelous song of triumph possible!
This imagery of the sea of glass reminds us of the waters of the Red Sea where the defeat of Pharaoh and the pushing back of the waters foreshadowed God’s final victory over evil (Isa. 51:9–11). If so, the sea of glass (a place of worship before the throne of God, 4:6) pictures waters subdued under God’s power. Here it is seen mingled with fire, which is often a sign of God’s judgment. So, the sea of glass serves as God’s victory stand for all of His overcomers (12:11). The deliverance of Israel from Egypt prefigured the deliverance of the Tribulation saints from the Antichrist. They praise and worship God for His power and His righteousness. All nations will come and worship God in the future millennial kingdom!
The theme of the harp playing of the Tribulation saints is the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb (Exo. 15:1–18, v. 3) because the deliverance God accomplished through Moses in the Exodus foreshadowed the salvation accomplished by Christ at the cross. Thus, both the songs celebrate redemption and deliverance. In the song of Moses, it was God’s physical release of Israel from Egyptian servitude through the Passover Lamb. In the song of the Lamb it is spiritual liberation from the bondage of Satan and his agents through “Christ our Passover” (I Cor. 5:7). Thus, as Arthur T. Pierson so aptly points out in his book ‘Knowing the Scriptures’: “They mark the two bounds of Redemption history, and between them lies the whole history of God’s ransomed people.”
In their singing, they sing to the “King of the nations” and proclaim that “all nations shall come and worship before God”. This song captures three reasons for all nations to worship God, as follows:
- The WORKS of God (“Great and marvelous are Your works”): God’s works are perfect as Moses mentions in his last song: "For I proclaim the name of the Lord: ascribe greatness to our God. He is the Rock, His work is perfect" (Deut. 32:3-4). Also, God’s works are truth (Ps. 33:4; Dan. 4:37), gracious (Ps. 145:17), great (Ps. 92:5; 111:2) and awesome (Ps. 6:3). Let us join with King David and ascribe praises to God for His wonderful works in our lives: “Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works which You have done; and Your thoughts toward us cannot be recounted to You in order; if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.” (Ps. 40:5)
- The WAYS of God (“Just and true are Your ways”): God had made His ways known to Moses (Ps. 103:7), and through him commanded the Israelites to walk in His ways (Deut. 30:16). God's ways are justice (Deut. 32:4), right (Hosea 14:9), and past finding out by us (Rom. 11:33), which is exactly what God says: "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." (Isa. 55:8-9) Let us ask God to show us His ways today (Ps. 25:4) to that we can glorify Him appropriately.
- The HOLINESS of God (“For You alone are holy”): God is holy in the core of His being, as is evident from the words of the seraphims in Isaiah’s vision (Isa. 6:1-3), and that of the four living creatures in John’s vision (Rev. 4:8). He is the Holy One (Isa. 41:14; 43:15) who is enthroned on our praises (Ps. 22:3). God is majestic in His holiness (Exo. 15:11), and He alone is holy (Ezek. 36:21-23). His name is Holy (Ps. 33:21; 97:12; Luke 1:49) and dwells on a high and holy place (Isa. 57:15). Today let us "exalt the Lord our God, and worship at His footstool-- He is holy." (Ps. 99:5)