Revelation 15:4

Thursday, 22 April 2021

Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name?
For You alone are holy.
For all nations shall come and worship before You,
For Your judgments have been manifested.” Revelation 15:4

The song of praise now continues completing what the saints had begun in the previous verse. It is “the Song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb.” It is now sung by the people who have “victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name.” They are rejoicing with harps at the greatness of God, His works and His ways.

Because He is the King of the saints (or nations – see analysis of the previous verse), the question is asked “Who shall not fear You.” The question was asked by Jeremiah who referred to the Lord as the “King of the nations,” saying –

“Who would not fear You, O King of the nations?
For this is Your rightful due.
For among all the wise men of the nations,
And in all their kingdoms,
There is none like You.” Jeremiah 10:7

The idea here is that of reverence for the Lord because He is ultimately the leader of the nations. This will be evidenced in the judgment that lies ahead. It is He who directs nations, sets them up, and tears them down. For this, He is to be feared, and a sense of awe should be in the hearts of all who contemplate His abilities and capabilities. John next writes, “O Lord, and glorify your name.”

This is reflective of the words of Psalm 86 –

“Among the gods there is none like You, O Lord;
Nor are there any works like Your works.
All nations whom You have made
Shall come and worship before You, O Lord,
And shall glorify Your name.
10 For You are great, and do wondrous things;
You alone are God.” Psalm 86:8-10

Not only is the Lord the King of the nations (or saints), but the psalmist acknowledges that there is but one God. All other “gods” are false, and so the Lord alone is to receive praise, worship, adoration, and fear. He alone is the Creator and Sustainer of all things. And more, John says, “For You alone are holy.”

It is a thought reflected in the book of Job, such as –

“If God puts no trust in His saints,
And the heavens are not pure in His sight,
16 How much less man, who is abominable and filthy,
Who drinks iniquity like water!” Job 15:15

Job’s point is that there is nothing, not the heavens or even His heavenly host, that compares to Him. He is set apart from all things (holy) and is thus worthy of all attention, praise, glory, and honor. As these things are so, John continues with, “For all nations shall come and worship before You.”

It was just cited in the verses from Psalm 86 (above), and it is also reflected in the words of the prophets Isaiah and Micah. There is a time ahead where the knowledge of whom the Lord is will be found throughout the entire world. There will no longer be false religions that pursue false gods. But instead, all nations will come before the Lord in Jerusalem to worship Him and honor Him alone. With that stated, John finishes the words of the song, saying, “For Your judgments have been manifested.”

The word translated as “judgments” signifies that which is righteous. A more literal rendering would be “righteousnesses.” As Vincent’s Word Studies notes, these are, “Not merely divine decisions, but righteous acts generally.” Those acts of the Lord in judgment, in conduct, in how He has dealt with the sin of man and the waywardness of the nations, and so on, are made manifest to the people of the world.

The verb in this clause, being aorist, is stating these things as accomplished even though it is looking forward to what lies ahead. When all is complete, everything the Lord has done will vindicate His just, holy, and righteous nature.

Life application: Holiness is one of the attributes of God. It defines His very nature. He is completely separate from impurity, and nothing unclean can enter His presence.

Because we are, by nature, fallen creatures, we must be covered in Jesus’ righteousness in order to enter into the presence of God. Were it not so, we would be completely consumed. But God has provided a way and the cost was high – it came through the life of His Son in exchange for our defilement. When the world finally comes to this understanding, all nations shall come and worship before Him, glorifying Him for who He is and for what He has done.

The redeemed of the world will look to the greatness of what God alone has done and acknowledge that He is worthy of all honor, glory, praise, and worship. But before that time, judgment will come upon all – both believers and unbelievers. The judgment of believers will be for rewards and losses. The judgment of unbelievers will be for condemnation.

When these judgments come, they will be completely impartial and absolutely fair. No person will be able to claim what was received was unjust. Absolute righteousness will be executed by the Creator. The world will see and understand the marvel of what God did in the sending of His Son to reconcile all things to Himself. The world will finally come to a full understanding of the glory of His Christ, our Lord JESUS.

Lord God, we know that judgment is coming on all flesh. Because of what Jesus has done for us, we don’t fear condemnation, but we know we let you down from day to day. We know that Your judgment of our actions and lives will be completely just and fair, and so we can only praise You for what we receive. Before that time though, help us to be stronger and more faithful servants to You. Amen.