A person cant read the Book of Revelation without being impressed by how much worship takes place in heaven. Everybody seems to worship-from the four living beings to the twenty-four elders to the myriads of angels to innumerable throngs from the tribulation to all creation. They worship loudly, demonstratively and often. In our passage for today well see a remarkable worship event take place. A new song is sung with different verses each being sung by an ever-larger choir. As we look more closely at the worship in heaven well let it challenge us to go deep with our own worship of the Lord. Well begin by examining this heavenly worship service. Next well consider some of the common features we see. Then well consider steps that might help us grown as worshippers, and finally well consider ways each of us can sing a new song.
A. The New Song
1) What is a new song?
The term new song is one which is used in Psalms (Ps 33:3; 40:3; 96:1; 98:1; 144:9) and Isaiah (Is 42:10). The command to sing a new song seems to be a way of encouraging people to respond creatively to Gods ongoing acts of salvation and miracles. New songs need to be written in order to worship God for the new things He does. Old songs are fine as a means of thanking Him for His past actions. But since He keeps saving, healing, delivering, guiding, etc. new songs need to be written.
2) O.T. examples:
Miriam/Ex 15, David/Ps 18, David/2Sa 22, Moses/Dt 31:19-32:44, Deborah/Jdg 5:1
3) Thanks, remembrance, a lesson learned, every miracle, every revelation of who He is, every act of salvation.
B. The Worship Event
The new song is sung by an expanding wave of singers. Each group sings a different verse focused on the theme of the worthiness of Christ.
1) Living beings and elders (vs 8, 9)
Hes worthy because:
- Restored Gods original purpose for humans
a. Rulership: government (vs 8, 9)
b. Priesthoods lead in worship (Ex 19:6)
2) Angels (vs 11, 12)
The rewards of His worthiness
- Power/servant (Mt 20:25, 26)
- Riches/became poor (Mt 5:3; 2Co 8:9)
- Wisdom/foolishness of God (1Co 1:18-25)
- Might/weakness (Eph 1:19-22)
- Honor/humbled (Php 2:7-9)
- Glory/set aside His divine privileges (Php 2:6; Rev 21:23)
- Blessing/cursed, mocked, spit on (Mt 5:10-12)
3) All creation
Jesus is worthy to be worshipped as God. (Rev 21:22, 23; 22:1, 3)
4) Living Being Quartet: Amen means we deeply agree.
C. Other Examples of Worship in Revelation
1) 4:8-11 Four beings, twenty-four elders
2) 5:8-14 New song
3) 7:9-12 Gentiles from the tribulation
4) 14:1-3 144,000
5) 15:2-4 Martyrs sing the Song of Moses
6) 19:1-7 Great multitude in heaven
D. Common Features of Worship in Heaven
1) Its corporate: theyre worshipping together
2) Its energetic: they cry out etc. (7:10)
3) Its demonstrative: casting crowns, falling down, waving palm branches
4) Its musical: they sing, play harps
5) Its spontaneous: they love God and enjoy worshipping
6) Its responsive: they respond to the new things God is doing
E. Three Points to Remember
1) Worship is not a means to an end, it is an end in itself.
- We were made for this.
2) Worship is something we will do forever.
- Its a natural response to the love and beauty of God.
3) Its joyful and freely given, not a duty.
- Being with Him is our highest joy.
F. Steps to Deeper Worship
1) Take time to worship alone.
2) Gather with other believers for corporate worship.
3) Make a decision to be a worshipper.
- Desire to draw closer to Him.
- Remove subconscious obstacles that prevent worship (shame, anger, bitterness, busyness . . .)
4) Learn to humble myself before God
- Kneeling, bowing, raising hands, lifting head
G. How can I sing a new song?
1) Dont forget to say thanks.
2) Dont forget what Hes done for me.
- Recording answers to prayers.
3) Dont forget spiritual lessons learned.
It doesnt have to be a song, it could be:
- Journaling, painting, poem, photograph, sculpture, short play
1) What has God done lately? Mention an answered prayer or an insight youve received or protection or provision or healing.
2) If you were going to sing a new song as a response to what God has done for you (your answer to question #1), how would you sing it. In other words what ways do you have of remembering His faithfulness? (journaling, painting, poem, etc.)