Read This Week: Revelation 15
And I saw what looked like a sea of glass glowing with fire and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast and its image and the number of its name. They held harps given to them by God and sang the song of God’s servant Moses and the Lamb: “Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the nations. Who will not fear you, Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will worship before.” – Revelation 15:2-4 NIV
John now sees the seven angels holding seven flasks or bottles of God’s wrath. In the previous chapter, the Scriptures told us that the wrath of God would be poured out as judgment on all those who worshiped the Antichrist, took the mark of the beast, and pledged their allegiance to the enemy. It says they will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath (14:10). The Lord is about to exact righteous judgment on His enemies in the form of the “third woe,” but before He does, there is another pause of blessing, spiritual reflection, and praise; to celebrate the impending victory of The Lamb.
These verses describe the revelator witnessing those who have come through the tribulation and endured the beast’s reign. These believers resisted the false prophet and his teaching, refused to take the mark of Satan, and withstood the vicious assault that the dragon unleashed on the world. They did not adopt the satanic system or give in to the mounting influence around them to consent to the evil forces that the devil sanctioned. They also confronted and did not participate in worshipping idols, false gods, and deceitful ideology. They stood firm and faithful at a high cost.
The believers of the tribulation, because they don’t take the mark of the beast, cannot hold jobs or buy and sell merchandise. They often go hungry, live in poverty, and make do with little to nothing. They depend entirely on God for their provision in every area of their lives. Some are thrown in prison, tortured, and publicly beaten, while others are murdered and executed. Yet, they remain faithful to Jesus and the mission of the gospel. They will not waver despite their suffering and will not relent regardless of their anguish. They stay true to God’s word, remain steadfast in His kingdom’s purposes, and lift their voice to make the sound of victory, a sure, eternal triumph that belongs to the King of Kings. Verses 2-4 illustrate this sound of success with these words:
Those who had been victorious over the beast held harps given by God and sang the song of the Lamb: “Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the nations, for you alone are holy, and all nations will come and worship before you.
The actions, behaviors, songs, and examples of these Christ followers should be an encouragement, blessing, and inspiration to all of us in our time. It provides us with hope and assurance that amid our suffering, we can remain faithful and devoted to the God of the universe and His promises. We don’t have to succumb to the world’s influences or embrace the systems of men just because so many others do. We can stand on the word, speak boldly of love and grace, and make a joyful sound of victory among our family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and community. We can be victorious because of Jesus.