Chapter 15 of Revelation: Heavenly Songs

CloudsBy Stephen W. Hiemstra

Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations! Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed (Rev 15:3-4).

Why are songs special?

Revelation 15 makes numerous references to the Exodus experience. The seven plagues (v 1) highlights the plagues in Egypt (Exod 7-10). The sea of glass (v 2) highlights the crossing of the Red Sea (Exod 14:21). The tent of witness (v 5) and references to sanctuary (vv 5, 6, and 8) are allusions to the tabernacle during the wilderness period.

The people of Israel responded to God’s salvation from Pharaoh’s army in song: I will sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea (Exod 15:1). So begins the Song of Moses.

Songs form the language of our hearts.

In moments of tension—impending surgery or death—in pastoral visits, I encourage believing families to express their love in words, reading scripture, and singing hymns.

Actually, the hymns are often the most meaningful because they open up the heart. The Doxology is the most helpful because we have all memorized it.

Songs are perhaps the only form of meditation that most of us practice and the last thing we forget when struck with Alzheimer’s disease. I joke that you better learn some good hymns because otherwise your last memory to go may be the Oscar Mayer Wiener commercial!

Heaven must be a good place because everyone there is singing all the time.

What songs do you hold most dear?


1. What is a plague? (v 1; example: Exod 7:19)
a. What is the wrath of God? (v 2; examples: Exod 22:22-24; Rom 1:18)
b. How does God’s wrath differ from our anger? (Matt 5:21-26; Jms 1:19-21)
2. What images comes to mind with the sea of glass? (v 2; Exod 14:21).
3. Why are songs important?
a. What is the song of Moses? (v 3; Exod 15:1)
b. What is the song of the Lamb (v 3; Rev 5:9-14)
c. What song is song here?
d. What songs have you memorized? Why?
4. What does the phrase–sanctuary of the tent of witness in heaven (Rev 15:5 )—imply?
a. What is the tent of witness? (v 5; Exod 26)
b. What does the phrase–filled with smoke from the glory of God (Rev 15:8)—bring to mind? (Isaiah 6)


Chapter 15 of Revelation: Heavenly Songs

Also see:

Chapter 14 of Revelation: The Wheat and the Tares 

Chapter 1: Alpha and Omega 

Christian Spirituality 

Looking Back 

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