From the Ends of the Earth We Hear Singing: Glory to the Righteous One

24: 14-16a

   DIG: Who are they who are rejoicing here? How does their song of glory differ from the sounds of silence in 24:8? How do you account for this flip-side judgment (see 14:4, 16:5, 17:7-8, 18:7, 19:23-25 and 23:18)?

   REFLECT: Both joy and sorrow will be the experience of the godly remnant that survives this judgment. When you see or hear about current disaster striking those who deserve it, what do you feel? Can you remember when you were first saved? How did you feel? How grateful were you? Do you still love the LORD as much as you did then? Has your love for Him deepened? Or have you left your first love (see my commentary on Revelation Az – The Church at Ephesus)? Can you personally praise God when everything around you is falling apart?

    As stated previously, the structure of the book of Revelation is based upon Isaiah 24:1 to 27:13. In Revelation Chapter 6, John spells out a series of judgments against humanity, known as the Seal Judgments. In Revelation Chapter 7, he breaks away from judgment. Then in Revelation Chapters 8 and 9 he continues with another series of judgments known as Trumpet Judgments. Between the Seal Judgments and the Trumpet Judgments there is the worldwide preaching of the 144,000 Jews and all those saved by their ministry. The structure there is the structure here. In the midst of judgment passages, there is a small segment where a glorification of God’s name is made by the 144,000 and those Jews and Gentiles saved by their preaching. The rabbis teach that these are only Israelites. Therefore, we are told here that in spite of the pollution of the earth by humanity that brings about the judgments in 24:1-13, there is a small believing remnant who is glorifying God’s name and majesty.

    Those who survive the catastrophe will from the distant parts of the earth offer hymns and praises to the God of Israel. They will lift their voices, singing for joy; shouting from the west, literally from the [Mediterranean] Sea, to honor ADONAI (24:14 CJB). The word they, or the believing remnant, is emphasized in the Hebrew. The Adversary had spiritually blinded all the unsaved inhabitants of the earth (Revelation 11:10, 13:8). Paul reminds us that the god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God (Second Corinthians 4:4). As a result of the preaching of the 144,000, these new believers will experience the spiritual scales being removed from their eyes and will then sing to the LORD. Despite the obvious danger of being beheaded by the antichrist (Revelation 20:4), they nevertheless sing to ADONAI out of sheer joy.

    So in the east, literally, in the lights, they will sing out in honor of ADONAI; from as far away as the islands of the sea they will honor the name ADONAI, the God of Israel (24:15 CJB). The content of their song will be the glory of His name. It will not be His name or title that will be so glorious, but who He is as Creator, Judge, Redeemer and LORD. They were snatched from the fire (Zechariah 3:2; Jude 23) and saved. And they were so grateful that they broke out in song.

    The celebration reaches its climax in the phrase the ends, literally the wing, of the earth (Philippians 2:9-11). Everywhere, in the west, the east, the islands of the sea, and from the ends of the earth, they will proclaim the same song: Glory to God, the Righteous One (24:16a). Unlike those in Isaiah’s day who viewed the Assyrian advance as cruel and unfair, the believers during the Great Tribulation will view the earth’s devastation as a righteous act by a righteous and Holy God.

 

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