“After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting:
‘Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, 2 for true and just are his judgments. He has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted the earth by her adulteries.
He has avenged on her the blood of his servants.’ 3 And again they shouted: ‘Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever.’ 4 The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God, who was seated on the throne. And they cried: ‘Amen, Hallelujah!’ 5 Then a voice came from the throne, saying: ‘Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both great and small!’” ~ Revelation 19: 1-5
Here is the main idea of this passage: “The song in Revelation praises God for His just and true judgments. He is praised for avenging the murders of His people. The punishment of the evil adversaries of God and His people is cause for praise in Heaven. God has punished the Great Prostitute, who corrupted the Earth with her immorality, and He has avenged the murder of His servants…the Beast and His Kingdom will be judged for deceiving the nations and for killing God’s servants. The ‘Great Prostitute,’ the evil city, has been destroyed and the smoke from that city ascends forever and forever. Babylon’s destruction will be final. She will never rise again.” (Life Application New Testament Commentary)
- “Emotionally there is no greater commentary on this passage than the famous Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah, yet the only word this piece has in common with the passage is ‘hallelujah,’ the ancient Hebrew expression for ‘praise the Lord’ (see, for example, Ps 104:35; 106:48; Tob 13:17). The destruction of Rome is still in view, and the passage is best understood as a response to the command of 18:20: ‘Rejoice over her, O heaven!’” (The IVP New Testament Commentary)
- “The rejoicing comes first from the roar of a great multitude in heaven (vv. 1-2), from the great multitude again (v. 3), then from the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures (v. 4). The first two exclamations are introduced by Hallelujah! (vv. 1, 3) and the third one with Amen, Hallelujah! (v. 4). All these voices are from heaven in keeping with the command addressed to heaven to rejoice. The fourth voice is also from heaven, from the throne, but it is addressed to the people of God on earth: Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both small and great! (v. 5).” (The IVP New Testament Commentary)
- 1-2- “John had seen a great multitude, representing every nation, standing before God’s Throne in Heaven and extolling His salvation. Now that countless choir, redeemed by the Lamb, praises God also for His vengeance on the prostitute who murdered the saints.” (ESV Study Bible Commentary)
- The Great Multitude- Those individuals who were martyred for their faith in Christ throughout the Great Tribulation.
- Reference Revelation 6:10
- Reference Revelation 7:9-14
- 4- Recall the identity of the 24 Elders and Four Living Beings referenced in Revelation 4:4-4:6. These groups humbled their-selves before the Throne and worshiped with the vast crowd of God’s people.
- 24 Elders- Symbolizes all who are redeemed in Christ.
- The Four Living Beings- “Angelic beings of high order, serving as part of the worship and government in Heaven.” (Life Application New Testament Commentary)
- 5- “And from the throne came a voice…” More than likely this was the voice of one of God’s angels or people. Some scholars suggest Jesus is speaking- however all agree this is not the Father’s voice.
How is this text applicable in the 21st Century?
It is our human nature to grip tightly onto the handle bars of CONTROL. Society instructs us in this fashion from birth. As a toddler, we are taught to be in control of our behavior and bodily functions. As a kid and teenager, we are expected to control our actions. As an adult, we are told to take control of our lives, careers, and even destinies. Bankers prefer we are in control of our money. Doctors demand their clients be in control of their diets and weight.
Yet, in all actuality, this notion is antithetical to the Word of God. Jesus says give up control. That’s right. You heard me correctly. Scripture states The Lord is the One who is to be in control. Let me clarify even further- He demands full control, not merely partial control, nor is God satisfied with 95% control of our lives. He wants us all. Jesus wants the good…the bad…the wretched…the stinky…and the nasty.
Throughout the Bible, mankind has fought for control. In Genesis 11, the Tower of Babel occurred as a consequence of a desire for “human independence and self-sufficiency apart from God.” (ESV Study Bible Commentary) Thousands of years ago, when Genesis was written, mankind was on a quest to rely on its own strength, rather than the power of the Lord Almighty.
Nevertheless, God reigns on His Throne. Despite our best efforts to build our own personal towers, the flesh will inevitably falter. Given enough time, each of our fragile skyscrapers and empires will come tumbling down. In Revelation 19:1-5, we see the masses praising God. The crowds are celebrating His reign, authority, and control. The Beast and Great Prostitute have been conquered. Moreover, the Lord has kept His promises and avenges the blood of His Saints. Heaven celebrates the victory and worships His Great Name.
Man’s “control” is momentary- oftentimes futile. There are many things in this life that one cannot control. In the end, The Lord on High has full and ultimate control, regardless of our willingness to trust Him. Though for a time being, He allows mankind to exercise its freedom to live according to its own desires. Because of our sinful flesh, there are difficulties which stem as a consequence of our limited control. Frequently pain and heartache are involved. Hardships will continue to occur in this life, until Jesus returns for the very last time…once and for all. But take heart! Jesus overcame the grave (1 Corinthians 15) and this fallen world! (John 16:33)
“…remember that our God reigns. Remember this when twilight falls and a dark loneliness begins to set in. Remember that God reigns even when a business deal doesn’t turn out as you thought it would. Remember that God reigns even when a romance doesn’t blossom as you had hoped. Remember that God reigns when the effects of sin threaten to undo your family, when pain drives you to your wits’ end, or when tragedy pushes you over the edge. God is still in control. He alone exercises control over all things. He gives gifts, and He can take them away (Job 1:21). Your response to God’s reign? Stop worrying about the things over which you have no ultimate control. Relax; let Him reign. Let go. Leave it with Him.” Chuck Swindoll
“For many centuries, man has dreamed of a ‘golden age,’ a ‘Utopia’ in which the human race will be free from war, sickness, and even death. Men have tried to achieve this goal on their own and have failed. It is only when Jesus Christ reigns on David’s throne that the Kingdom will come and the Earth be delivered from the oppression of Satan and sin.” Warren W. Wiersbe
Additional Readings: Revelation 19
Prayer: Father God giving me a willing spirit to relinquish control. I pray that the vibrancy of God’s love over shines me today. Let me live my life for You. Lord I give You full control. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.