Then a voice came from the throne, saying: “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both great and small!” Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.) Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers and sisters who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For it is the Spirit of prophecy who bears testimony to Jesus.” – Revelation 19:5-10
It is hard to believe that there are only 4 more verses to complete my “float” through the bible examining water references in the bible. I started on this journey seven years ago and I have been continually amazed at the eddies of understanding hidden in plain sight throughout the bible. I was really apprehensive when I entered the reach of river that is Revelation. Although it has been hard at times and difficult to understand, I can honestly say that it has been exhilarating and enlightening so far.
Today’s passage is a welcome break from the wrath of the previous passages in Revelation to focus on rejoicing. This shift began with a few posts ago when I considered whether these events would bring mourning or rejoicing. The focus in this passage is on those who “fear him, both great small”. This is a very apt description of all those who follow the Lamb. We are both like little children in God’s presence and exalted to the position of being His children. What could be smaller or greater than that?
The God-followers, great and small, are described here as a making quite a racket. They apparently sounded like a “a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder”. This crowd was not cheering for a Superbowl, the world series, or any earthly event. They were cheering for the reign of the “Lord god almighty”. In end God won and they chose the right side in the war of the worlds.
All the preparations have been made, the bride and groom are ready, and the wedding day of the Lamb has come for all those who have have faithfully persevered in their pursuit of God. The preparations for this day are both secular and spiritual “his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.) There is both the loving sacrifice made by God and our sacrifice to immerse our souls in Him.
The “righteous acts” equated with the “fine linen” of the bride could be interpreted to mean good deeds and acts of service. Based on my float through the bible I would interpret this more broadly to mean both secular “good deeds” and conscious decisions to care for our souls and our spiritual relationship with God. All are invited to the wedding of the Lamb, but not everyone chooses to make preparations that will allow them to attend. This is not because God wishes to exclude anyone. He loves and believes in us, but He also has given us the freedom to choose.
The passage finishes with the author getting a lesson in humility about who is great and who is small. The angel sharing this prophecy is viewed by the author as “great”, the angel makes it clear that we are all fellow servants and equal in the eyes of God, “I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers and sisters who hold to the testimony of Jesus.” Gender, race, color, economic status, nationality, wealth , or any other earthly measure we can think about do not matter. We are all on same team as long as we have the same end zone in mind – the testimony of Jesus.
Prayer: God remind us that we are all equal in your eyes and it our job to help one another reach You through our actions, both internally and externally.