Today, Wednesday June 15
The Song of the Tribulation Saints
Revelation 15:1-4 “Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is complete. 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."
The same Apostle John who wrote this book of Revelation also wrote the Gospel of John. As he is writing here of the peace and joy that these Tribulation saints are experiencing in the midst of their terrible suffering, you have to wonder if his mind went back to what he wrote back in John 16:33. Jesus was speaking His last words to His disciples just before His crucifixion (John 13-16). Jesus was telling them that He would be crucified and like sheep they would be scattered (John 16:32).
Jesus concludes His words by saying: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." (John 16:33) I know that when most of us think of becoming a believer we are looking for hope, for forgiveness of sins, for the burden of guilt to be lifted and removed, for peace and comfort that we did not have in our religion or our life without Christ. And for sure, we did find all these wonderful things when we trusted Christ to be our Savior. But we forgot that Jesus also promised us “tribulation” as we traverse through this life on earth!
Can you imagine how excited John must have been when he sees these Tribulation saints singing the song of Moses in the middle of the “Great Tribulation”? These are the ones who are suffering from the wrath of the Antichrist and the false prophet. Actually, from Satan himself! Because they refuse to take the mark of the beast, they can neither buy nor sell. Which means they are destitute, they are hungry, they are being thrown into prison, they are being hunted like animals and being killed because they will not bow and worship the Antichrist and his image.
Remember back in Revelation 12 we were told that Satan knew his time was short. Satan knows the Scriptures probably better than any of us. At this point he knows that he only has three and half years left before he will be cast into the bottomless pit for a thousand years. He is full of wrath and is taking it out on the Tribulation saints! But we are told that: “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” (Revelation 12:11). Despite their terrible suffering these saints are overcomers and victorious.
Now John sees them singing the song of Moses! The Song of Moses is Israel's song of victory at the Red Sea in Exodus 15. Note that the refrain, "The Lord is my strength and song, and He is become my salvation" (Ex. 15:2) is repeated in Ps. 118:14 and Isa. 12:2. In each case, there is a deliverance for Israel. The Jews sang the Song of Moses when they were delivered from Egypt, but they also sang it when they returned to their land after the Captivity, for Ps. 118 was very likely written after the return from Babylon. Isaiah 12 looks forward to the time when Israel will be regathered from the nations of the world and returned to her land; so in each case, the song celebrates Israel's deliverance from the enemy.
In Ex. 15, God's people stood by an earthly sea; but here it is a heavenly sea. In Exodus, they had been delivered by the blood of the Passover lamb; and here they overcame the Beast "by the blood of the Lamb" (12:11). Note that they sing not only the song of Moses, but also the song of the Lamb. "The Lamb" is the title of Christ most repeated in Revelation; it is used at least twenty-eight times. We have here a wonderful union of OT and NT, of Moses and the Lamb. God's Law is being vindicated; God's grace is at work. The Old and New Covenants are being fulfilled as Christ judges the nations and prepares to reign.
I trust today that you are encouraged to know, that even now in your trials, problems, pain, suffering and tribulation, you can find peace in Jesus Christ and sing songs of praise and victory to glorify Him! (John 16:33)