The Song of Moses
This page, the song of Moses, is part two of a verse-by-verse study of Revelation chapter 15. Go back to part 1.
"And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest." (Rev 15:3-4)
The song of Moses is a reference to Deuteronomy 32 where Moses shared with the congregation of Israel an account of how God had lead and protected His people in spite of their unfaithfulness and even idolatry.
"And Moses spake in the ears of all the congregation of Israel the words of this song, until they were ended." (Deut 31:30)
The Bible also speaks of the Song of Moses that Moses and the Israelites sang after they were delivered from the Egyptian army at the Red Sea. It starts:
"Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea." (Exo 15:1)
Those singing "the song of Moses" in Revelation 15 may not have been singing the exact words that Moses used but it may have been the relation of their experience of being similarly delivered by God as Moses was.
Moses was called the servant of God in scripture recognizing his long years of service.
"And Israel saw that great work which the LORD did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD, and his servant Moses." (Exo 14:31)
"Forty years old was I when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadeshbarnea to espy out the land; and I brought him word again as it was in mine heart." (Josh 14:7)
The Song of the Lamb
Remember, in chapter 5, when no one could be found worthy to open the book, suddenly the Lamb appeared:
"And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth." (Rev 5:6)
After describing the Lamb taking the book, those around the throne began a song addressed to the Lamb:
"And they sung a new song, saying, Thou (the Lamb) art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;" (Rev 5:9)
"Great and marvelous" was also used in verse one and in other places to describe the work of God.
"I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well." (Psa 139:14)
"Lord God Almighty" - the "great and marvellous are thy works" may be addressed to the Father with the following being directed to the Son.
"Just and true are thy ways" Why is this spoken?
In Rev 15:3, the words "just" (Greek = dikaios; Strong's #1342) and "true" (Greek = alethinos; Strong's #228) are used. The same words are used in these two verses:
"And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments." (Rev 16:7)
"For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand." (Rev 19:2)
Although they use the word "righteous," in both cases, it is translated from the same original word rendered "just" in Rev 15:3. It is interesting that the definition for Strong's G1342 is "righteous, observing divine laws." Here God is, in a sense, being described as keeping His own laws.
There may be particular significance to these words being spoken at this time because it is a time of judgment or judgment has just been completed.
"King of saints" - may be spoken of the Son. Some commentaries suggest that the word "saints" should be "nations." This would be consistent with verse 4 where it is said that:
"... all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest." (Rev 15:4)
Note here also this verse:
"For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:" (John 5:22)
This supports the thought that "thou King of saints" is spoken to the Son.
"Thy judgments are made manifest" sounds much like "just and true are thy ways" from verse 3.
"And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened:" (Rev 15:5)
In verse 5, we are given another new scene. Revelation chapter 15 contains rather rapid scene changes:
- "And I saw a sign ... - angels with the plagues (verse 1)
- "And I saw as it were ... - the saved praising God (verse 2)
- "And after that I looked ... - angels ready to pour out the plagues (verse 5)
Here is a possible explanation for why it is that way. In verse 1, angels have the plagues (or control of them) and this is related to the full wrath of God. God has come to the point where He has no choice but to finally leave the wicked to the results of their own choices. The question is: what justifies Him in doing that? The answer is given, in a sense, in a rhetorical question:
"Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest." (Rev 15:4)
It says "Thy judgments are made manifest (v4)." This is reflected in other verses:
"Just and true are thy ways" (Rev 15:3)
"true and righteous are thy judgments" (Rev 16:7)
"true and righteous are his judgments" (Rev 19:2)
In light of that complete revelation, the rhetorical question is asked (verse 4) "who shall not fear thee ... and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy."
The words "thou" and "art" are supplied, so it could be rendered:
"And glorify thy name only holy"
With the idea that His name or character is "only holy" or nothing but holy; no shadow of turning. What justifies Him in finally removing His protection and leaving the wicked to their own choices is that all the evidence shows that He has been just in all His dealings and that all of the accusations of Satan have been disproven.
So, with that assurance, God is seen to be just in leaving those who have not accepted Him to receive what they have chosen - a life apart from Him. In withdrawing His protection the way is made for the plagues to be poured out.
There is something else of interest here. Notice the implied timing
"all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest. (Rev 15:4)
All nations are not worshipping Him now or even at the point this will be said. Certainly, all nations are not worshipping God now - we can see that quite clearly. The reference is to a future time and will be said in light of the fact that and when all the evidence is in.
But will all nations ever worship God in the future? In fact, all nations will come and worship - when "worship" is rightly understood. Worship is an acknowledgment that some one or some thing is in a state of worthiness. It can be brought about not from an attitude of love but from overwhelming evidence.
"For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God." (Rom 14:11)
"That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;" (Phil 2:10)
"God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged." (Rom 3:4)
The Tabernacle of the Testimony
In the new scene opened in verse 5, we see that "the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened." This corresponds with the thought that God's "judgments are made manifest." Judgment is over, the evidence is all in, a decision has been made. This gives reason for being able to sing the Song of Moses and the Song of the Lamb. The tabernacle being open has the idea of nothing hidden; everything is out in the open.
For the conclusion of this study on Revelation 15 go to the Plagues (Rev 15 part 3).