What We Experience Is Echoed Elsewhere
There are three incredible psalms in Revelation 19. One psalm by angels, one by Creation, and one by the saints.
I love these kinds of augmented hymns in the scripture. They always give me the sense that what we experience is being echoed on another plane of existence, like our praise is not only heard but amplified; not only appreciated, but compounded; not only inspirational, but instigatory.
We worship, and our songs are not sung in isolation. 19th century Scottish theologian William Barclay points out that in this passage God is praised because “salvation, glory, and honor belong to him.” I am deeply indebted to Barclay for his historical insights and storied theology. He often points out things other commentators feel are too trivial, but that I find fascinating. There’s something geometric about his appreciation of the Bible.
For example, Barclay draws connections between why God should be worshipped and what that worship produces in our lives as we obediently supply it. He maintains that “salvation by God should awaken gratitude in the hearts of men; that glory should always awaken reverence; and that power, since it is always exercised in love, should, therefore, awaken the trust of men.”
We praise God for saving us, and it makes us thankful.
We praise God for who he is, and it reminds us how comparatively small we are.
We praise God for his might, and it cultivates gladness within us that he does not use that might against us, but for us.
No wonder these psalms end with such enthusiasm! What else can we do but praise this God and fear him?
Adapted from the Crux of Revelation
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