And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honor, and power…
I. THE CHARACTERISTIC GIVEN OF THE SAINTS.
1. They are a people, the people of God, and grace has made them so.
2. The saints are represented as "much people," a multitude which no man can number.
(1) They consist of some of all ages of the world.
(2) Some of all nations.
(3) They will be found among some of every sect and party.
(4) The number of the redeemed includes persons of all ranks and conditions in life, and possessing every variety of talent and disposition; the young and the old, the rich and the poor, the most renowned monarchs, and the most abject slaves.
II. THE WORK IN WHICH THE SAINTS IS HEAVEN ARE EMPLOYED.
1. It was "a great voice" which the apostle heard in heaven, and may be so denominated on three accounts.
(1) It was exceeding loud, like that which John heard in another vision, as the sound of many waters, or as when seven thunders utter their voices.
(2) It was a great voice in regard to the subject or occasion of it, for it related to a great salvation on the one hand, and a great destruction on the other.
(3) It was a great voice in reference to the numbers who joined in it, a uniform and melodious voice from all that were round about the throne.
2. The great voice of much people in heaven cried "Hallelujah." This may teach us —
(1) That it becomes the people of God to be joyful: praise is comely for the upright, however unseemly it may be in the lips of a deceiver.
(2) That our joy must not terminate in ourselves.
(3) That our praises must not terminate in any creature like ourselves.
(4) Our praises must all centre in God, in the excellences of the Divine nature.
III. THE SUBJECT MATTER OF THE SONG OF THE REDEEMED.
1. Observe, after the general shout of "hallelujah," they ascribe "salvation" unto the Lord our God.
2. They ascribe "glory and honour" unto the Lord our God. Glory is the highest degree of honour, and is more immediately appropriated to the Supreme Being, to whom alone the highest praise is due, and who will not give His glory to another.
3. The ascription of "power," as well as honour and glory, makes a part of the song of the redeemed. Power implies ability or strength, and when predicated of the Supreme Being it denotes His almightiness and all-sufficiency, by which He is able to do all things.
4. All this glory is ascribed unto the Lord our God, as what properly belongs to Him. Salvation and glory, and honour and power, are His exclusively, and in the most eminent degree.IMPROVEMENT.
1. How dreadful is the sin of ingratitude, especially towards our best and only Benefactor.
2. The exultations of the saints in glory may teach us how unseemly are the idle songs and profane mirth of carnal men, and how utterly inconsistent everything of this kind is with the profession of Christianity.
3. The spirit and employment of the redeemed and glorified, may serve as a criterion of true religion, by which we may judge whether we are made meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.
4. A gracious heart would have all that is glorious ascribed to God, and to Him alone; and not only the glory of salvation in general, but of his own salvation in particular.
5. Let mourning saints take comfort, from a view of the blessedness of the spirits of just men made perfect. Those who now hang their harps upon the willows, saying, "How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?" shall shortly have their hearts attuned to joy and praise, when like Judah they return from their captivity.
(B. Beddome, M.A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: