I saw in heaven another great and marvelous sign: seven angels with the seven last plagues—last, because with them God’s wrath is completed. 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 over the number of its name. They held harps given them by God and sang the song of God’s servant Moses and of 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 come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.” – Revelation 15:1-4
I am not sure I would describe seven Angels with plagues as marvelous, but I suppose the fact that this is the last “wrath” could be seen as marvelous. The author sees in this vision not only plague-wielding angels but something rather mystical and mysterious, “a sea of glass”. It is not clear if this description is meant to convey a perfectly still body of water or literally a sea of molten silica, also know as glass. It seems it is the latter as this “sea” is also described as “glowing with fire”.
I have seen glass blowers several times in my life. I am always amazed by the transformation from red hot blobs of molten glass to intricate and beautiful creations in the hands of a skilled glass blower. Standing beside this molten mare (sea in Latin) are “those who had been victorious over the beast and its image and over the number of its name.” This sounds like those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life – those who follow the lamb, the way of Christ.
I am not sure what they are doing next to this glass sea, but they apparently have harps given to them by God. They are singing the song of Moses and the Lamb. The original song of Moses showed up way back in Exodus 15:1-11. Moses sang it after successfully parting, and crossing, the Red Sea. His song was also a celebration of the escape from bondage in Egypt. These souls have also escaped bondage, but in their case it is their bondage to the material earth,
The meaning of the song of the Lamb is less clear and concrete, but I think it is probably the new song that is woven through both the old and new testaments. In Psalm 33:1-11 the “new song” contains this phrase “the earth is full of his unfailing love”. Despite all the material messiness of this world God’s love is there for those who have eyes to see it.
The new song that these victorious followers of the way, here at the end of all earthly things, are is their soul song. It is a song that their soul has learned through a lifetime of “singing” lessons. A celebration of God’s love and His sacrifice so we can be free of the bondage of oblivion.
The essence of their soul song, and our soul song, is recounted in the last part of the passage, “Great and marvelous are your deeds…Just and true are your ways…you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.” This is the essence of the gospel. We must accept the sacrifice that Jesus “revealed” on the cross and be willing to acknowledge that this act changed everything, This act bought for us a place beside the glass sea described in this passage.
The take home message for me here is that we should be always seeking to become better singers of our soul song. The soul song that connects us to God through His son Jesus. This song is not something that we learn once, it is a song that we are learning continuously as we follow God wherever He leads us. In words from the song of Moses in Exodus 33.
Who among the gods
is like you, LORD?
Who is like you—
majestic in holiness,
awesome in glory,
Prayer: God help us to learn our soul song so that we can sing it to You daily, and for eternity when that time comes.