Lift Up Your Head and Sing!
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Psalm 24:7-10 7Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. 8Who is this King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle! 9Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. 10Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory!
Several years ago a young man from church and I would meet every Tuesday morning for an hour to study God’s Word. One point we were studying the book of Revelation. As we studied I was challenged by the worship that takes place in the presence of God. Every being that is there, from angels to supernatural beasts and from Old Testament saints to those from the church age, all participate in the worship. But there is something very distinct about their worship. Angels and humans worship differently. Their songs are not the same. See if you can catch the difference in these two passages –
Revelation 5:9 – 10 And they sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”
Revelation 5:12 – 13 In a loud voice they sang: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”
Here’s what I wanted you to notice. The first song was sung by the 24 elders, representing all of the saints who are in Christ Jesus from both the Old and the New Testament eras. The second song is sung by angels. The third song is sung by all the creatures of the earth. Only one of the songs contains a reference to salvation. Of all that God has created, we are the only ones who have experienced the saving grace of God. We are the only ones who can testify to Christ’s redemption.
The animal kingdom cannot.
We alone who have come to Christ for salvation can sing the song of the redeemed. We alone can lift our heads in worship proclaiming the joy of our salvation. We alone can know by experience the strong and mighty Lord who fought and won the battle with sin and death. We alone will reign with the King on the earth in His coming kingdom. We alone can experience the fullness of the King’s glory because we have experienced the glory of His grace.
The splendor of the King is worshipped by all the angels in heaven, and it must be awesome to observe. But nothing can compare to the worship of the King by the ones He has saved. Our worship surpasses the worship of the angels because it includes the song of salvation.
I am convinced that our daily devotional time should include an expression of worship to God for His saving grace. I am convinced that our worship in our churches must include more expressions of praise for our salvation. Songs that exalt God are good. Songs that invite God’s presence into our lives are meaningful. But songs that praise the God of our salvation are indispensable. Just reflect on the songs that are most meaningful to you in your life of worship. I will venture to conclude that your favorites are songs about your salvation. It doesn’t matter if they are hymns or contemporary worship songs, I know that the songs that are most meaningful to me are the ones that connect me to the saving grace of Jesus Christ. There is a reason for that. They are God’s favorite songs for us to sing. He cannot hear them from the angels. His creation cannot sing them. Only we who have been created in His image and then reborn into the image of His Son Jesus can sing the songs of God’s glorious grace.
So lift up your heads and sing.
Sing to God the song of the redeemed.
Sing to the King of Glory.