23 December 2015
by Philip Layton

‘Great and marvellous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty’ (v 3)

Click here to read Revelation 15

Discussion Question

  • What 'great and marvellous' deeds can you worship God for today? 

Share your thoughts below, or tweet about it with the #boundlessbible hashtag. Don't forget this week's Children's Challenge!

Going Deeper From 'Words of Life'

Deliverance, in the New Testament, is often compared to Israel’s deliverance at the Exodus. Exodus is in John’s mind here, as he records a hymn similar to Moses’s hymn of praise to God for Israel’s deliverance from Egypt (Exodus Chapter 15). At this point we might expect this to be the final scene and for judgment to occur forthwith. But John keeps us in suspense. 

He has given three separate pictures of tribulation, not for historical reasons, but to give emphasis to his point. George Caird has described John’s method of working as like a kaleidoscope, where the light is reflected in so many different ways even though you are all the time looking at the same pieces of glass through the same apparatus. 

The seven plagues heralded by these seven angels follow a similar pattern to the seven seals described in chapters six to eight, and the seven trumpets following — which heighten our anticipation of the end. But Exodus was only the start of salvation for the children of Israel. They had to be continually reminded to keep their attention on God alone. So too here, we see how we must worship God and pay him attention even in the midst of great distress. God may seem hidden now – hidden, as John describes it by the smoke which fills the temple, or like the smoke which hid God’s glory during the Exodus. But one day we shall see him face to face, and finally be able to sing the song of the Lamb, clearly and without impediment.

To ponder

Oh, how I’d like to see his face, my Lord beholding!
Oh, how I’d like to take my place, his arms enfolding!
Some day I’ll cross old Jordan’s tide,
Some day the gates will open wide,

Then I shall at his feet abide, my Lord beholding.
Some day I’ll see his blessèd face,
Some day I’ll see his blessèd face,
I’ll hear the music of his voice, some glad, sweet day.

(Arthur S. Arnott)

Beverly Ivany
Video: Phil Layton

The January 2016 edition of Words of Life is available now.

Tags: Revelation