Clouds Parting Revealing the Heavens

A daily devotion for September 5th

The Worship of Heaven

And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. … And they sang a new song, saying: You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.

Rev 5:8-10

This is the worship of heaven. All who are there understand the meaning of history and the solution that is God's program. Each of these elders has a harp, and bowls of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. The slain Lamb is the center of their worship. How interesting that heaven understands that we who are redeemed also contribute to the work of redemption. We cannot lay the foundation (Jesus has done that perfectly), but we share in the application of it throughout the earth. That is why we pray. When you pray for someone before the throne of God, you are making an application of the work of redemption to that human heart. This ought to encourage us greatly in our prayers, for they are part of the program of God.

John says he heard them singing a new song. It is new to them because as angels, they have never been redeemed. They have had to learn of redemption by watching God's grace applied to sinners — willful, rebellious, defiant men and women, who want their own way and whom, nevertheless, God calls, forgives, restores and saves. This is the song the angels have learned from the saints.

The reason for the worship of heaven is the death of Jesus! Not his teaching, his wonderful life of compassion, his miracles and wonders, nor his power, but the shedding of his blood for sinners of every age. I do not know of any thought in all literature able to melt the human heart more than the concept that we who deserve death are given life at the cost of the blood of Jesus. That is what calls forth the new song of redemption. The old song is one of creation, but the new song is the song of the redeemed!

Fifty years ago in Chicago, on an Easter Sunday, I was living in a tiny room in the North Avenue YMCA. I was up before dawn, getting dressed to attend a sunrise service in Soldier Field. As I dressed, my eye fell upon a hymnbook on the dresser, opened to the hymn Beneath the Cross of Jesus. I read the words of the second verse:

          Upon that cross of Jesus mine eye at times can see
          The very dying form of One who suffered there for me;
          And from my smitten heart with tears two wonders I confess —
          The wonder of redeeming love, and my unworthiness!

My heart melted when I read those words. I knew well my own unworthiness. But as I thought of His redeeming love, I felt as if the walls of that room faded away, and I was standing with this great throng in heaven singing about the wonder of redemption — God's love for mankind, manifest in the cross. As John watches, all the universe is caught up in the wonder of that sacrificial love.

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for price you paid to set me free. Amen.

Life Application

Have you discovered why you should sing the new song to the Lamb?

This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages

The Great Breakthrough

Listen to Ray