And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honor, and power…
This hymn is sung after the destruction of Babylon. They sang with no diffident breast. It was a great voice breaking forth into syllables distinct and strong. They sang of the reign of God. At last the yearned-for result has been attained. "The Lord God Omnipotent reigneth."
I. IT IS THE TRUE INTERPRETATION OF WORLDLINESS. The name of the world is applied in Scripture to two facts — one is transience, the other is godlessness. Because it is passing away we are warned against loving the world: but we are told how transience may degenerate, and the feeling of insecurity infect the whole character, because "if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." This is a natural sequence; for the affection towards the trivial and passing destroys affection towards the great and abiding. It is a contradiction of our nature too; and any such contradiction, any continued violation of a natural law in the moral world, means weakness and disease. What else cored come to that great world-city of Babylon? Her delicious living and extravagance, her selfishness and impurity, could find in all the universe but one goal. Nor can it be otherwise. For nations, for cities, and for men, there is the one law unchangeable and irrevocable. The worldly mind, the fleshly, sensuous mind, is decay and death. Selfishness can only destroy self; luxury but ruin comfort, and passion but annihilate pleasure.
II. IT TEACHES US THAT FAITH AND HOLINESS ARE NEVER ALONE. It was as the voice of a great multitude — a voice of thunder — a voice of many waters. The young Christian thinks he stands sometimes absolutely by himself. In the counting-house, the school, the shop, he finds none to stand with him. There is not a voice to utter anything in harmony with what his heart most dearly loves. All have gone after their Baal, and the danger is that he rolls himself within his own loneliness, and shrinking back becomes morbid and unhappy. But all the while others, under perhaps the colour of some worldly cant, are longing as he has longed. The same thoughts have filled their minds; the same fears have held their hearts. Had any of them the courage to speak out his own thoughts, had the voice been strong and his heart brave, he would instantly have won companions and friends.
III. IT SHOWS US THE NATURE OF TRUE PROGRESS. The first step therein is the marriage of the Lamb.
(W. M. Johnston, 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: