I’ve had Kari Jobe’s “Revelation Song” (mostly Shane and Shane’s version on their latest record) playing on my iPod the last couple of weeks, and it’s been a huge encouragement to me because it brings me hope of heaven and the unending worship that I’ll one day experience at the foot of God’s throne.
My favorite thing about it (and any other worship-inducing music that I listen to) is that it basically puts Scripture into song. The particular passage in question for this song is Revelation 4 where we get a glimpse through John’s eyes into the throne room in heaven. Kari sings that Christ is the slain lamb who sits on Heaven’s mercy seat – the place where sin is atoned for. The precious imagery refers back to the Old Testament sacrificial system and the Ark of the Covenant is beautiful, haunting, and shows the immense weight of the sacrifice which made my salvation both possible and secure. More precious still, Hebrews 8-9 goes into great detail about how Christ fulfills a much better covenant – a perfect one-time sacrifice in a heavenly temple that is the substance that casts the shadow of the whole Old Testament sacrificial system.
It is exactly this sacrifice of Christ on the cross and his ensuing resurrection that makes my worship of God both beautiful to him and possible for me. In light of the redemption that I have in Jesus I am free to worship the Lord and bring him glory as one of his children. And not only me, but all of God’s people sing his praises, and we join with all creation to praise our King of kings and Lord of lords. Truly he is everything that we have, everything that means anything, and everything for which we live. This, sadly, is not my heart posture at all times. There are many occasions when I fail and place my worth in a myriad of other things. But the astounding truth is that God loves me in the midst of my struggles and pride and junk. He isn’t waiting for me to fix my sin before he will love me; no, he freely gives his love and grace to those who claim his name and follow him.
So the one who was, who existed from eternity past, has known me and formed me and called me and saved me unto himself. And not only was he, but he is – he is with me in my struggles, with me in this life that so easily confuses me, and he walks with me as a teacher, leader, shepherd, father, and holy God. He knows my struggles and my sins, and he is with me as I navigate my way through this life to his glory. And God is the one who is to come – the story isn’t over; there’s still time on the clock. There is a day coming (and it will soon be here) when Christ will return to simultaneously slay the wicked and secure his followers unto himself. So my hope doesn’t rest on this world – it rests on my Christ Jesus, the God who will return for his people one day.
Along those lines I also really like the way that the imagery in Revelation 4 makes its way into “Revelation Song” – the vision of God seated on his throne is higher than my imagination, but it does strike me with wonder and fear that I will one day see my Lord on his throne with my own eyes. When this world begins to steal my affections and distract me with busy-ness, tempt me with my desire for others’ approval, I am tempted to despair. One thought with two aspects is what anchors me in a heavenly, eternal perspective. The first aspect is that this world is a fleeting vapor, an ephemeral existence. It is temporary, fallen, and meant to lift our eyes to heaven. The second aspect is that heaven is an eternal, beautiful, peaceful, restful place where I can (along with my brothers and sisters in Christ) enjoy unrestricted and uninterrupted communion with my Lord. I can’t wait to be in heaven, but God has seen fit to keep me here for this time, so I’ll go about his work seeking his glory in all things.
So give “Revelation Song” a listen – it’s good stuff for sure. And let this vision of eternity fuel your passion for God’s glory in this temporal place that he has put us in.
by Kari Jobe
Worthy is the, Lamb who was slain
Holy, Holy, is He
Sing a new song, to him who sits on
Heaven’s mercy seat
Holy, Holy, Holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and is, and is to come
With all creation I sing
Praise to the King of kings
You are my everything
And I will adore You
Clothed in rainbows, of living color
Flashes of lightning, rolls of thunder
Blessing and honor, strength and glory and power be
to You the only wise King
Filled with wonder, awestruck wonder
At the mention of your name
Jesus your name is power
Breath, and living water
Such a marvelous mystery