Revelation 15 … Consider Him Who Is Great and Marvelous

Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels who had seven plagues, which are the last, because in them the wrath of God is finished, (15:1).

We are approaching the pinnacle of the rising action of John’s vision, the point of no return when all things converge and culminate in the climax of human history, when the wrath of God is finished.

And twice John repeats the words, Great and Marvelous. These are probably two words we use often. For example, we might see a movie and then comment, “That was really great!” Or, we have a lovely dinner out with friends and say, “What a marvelous night.”

But as we consider these words in light of John’s declaration, we will discover how our casual handling of these words really do diminish their weightiness in light of the original language.

Great: “3173. μέγας mégas; fem. megálē, neut. méga, adj. Great, large, particularly of physical magnitude… Metaphorically, great in estimation, weight, importance… Figuratively, great in power, dignity, authority,” Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.

Marvelous: “25.215 θαυμάσιος, α, ον; θαυμαστός, ή, όν: (derivatives of θαυμάζω ‘to be amazed,’ 25.213) pertaining to that which causes or is worthy of amazement and wonder—‘wonderful, remarkable, marvelous,’” Louw- Nida Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament.

And so Great and Marvelous is the sign John saw, that we can only look to His Inspired Word and ask for spiritual ears to hear and spiritual eyes to see, that we would somehow be able to recognize, if only by a supernatural glimpse, the infinite Wonder of Him Who Is Great and Marvelous!

And I saw something like a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, holding harps of God. And they sang the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying…(15:2-3).

As John heard the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb being sung, I wondered how he was even able to contain himself. And I also wondered if a barrage of thoughts filled his mind with more memories of Him Who Is Great and Marvelous.

Today, in keeping with the number seven, we will consider seven Scriptures revealing Him Who Is Perfectly and Completely Great and Marvelous. We will begin with the song sung on the sea of glass, then travel a bit through His Holy Inspired Scriptures. It will only be a glimpse, and a brief one at that; for after all, it will require all of eternity to ponder and consider Him Who Is Great and Marvelous.

Consider Him Who Is Great and Marvelous

  • He Is Great and Marvelous in His Wrath
    • Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels who had seven plagues, which are the last, because in them the wrath of God is finished, (15:1).
    • He Is Great and Marvelous in His Works
      And they sang the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,
      “Great and marvelous are Your works,
      O Lord God, the Almighty;
      Righteous and true are Your ways,
      King of the nations!”
  • He Is Great and Marvelous in His Worth
    •  “Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Your name?
      For You alone are holy;
      For all the nations will come and worship before You,
      For Your righteous acts have been revealed,”
  • He Is Great and Marvelous in His Ways
    • “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
      Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
      “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
      So are My ways higher than your ways
      And My thoughts than your thoughts,”
      (Isaiah 55:8-9).
  • He Is Great and Marvelous in His Word
    • “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
      And do not return there without watering the earth
      And making it bear and sprout,
      And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;
      11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
      It will not return to Me empty,
      Without accomplishing what I desire,
      And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it,”
      (Isaiah 55:10-11).
  • He Is Great and Marvelous in His Wisdom
    • “Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever,
      For wisdom and power belong to Him.
      21 “It is He who changes the times and the epochs;
      He removes kings and establishes kings;
      He gives wisdom to wise men
      And knowledge to men of understanding.
      22 “It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things;
      He knows what is in the darkness,
      And the light dwells with Him,”
      (Daniel 2:20-22).
  • He Is Great and Marvelous in His Warnings
    • “There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, 26 men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near,” (Luke 21:25-28).

How do we respond to Him Who Is Great and Marvelous?

Oh, how Great and Marvelous He Is. And we have only begun to see! But our redemption draws near. Let us spend our days motivated by what we have been privileged to see and hear about Him Who Is Great and Marvelous.

But I also couldn’t help but think of another occasion when He wonderfully revealed Himself as Great and Marvelous, to Moses in the wilderness just going about his day doing his job.

Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed, (Exodus 3:1-2).

Moses did not yet know it was the angel of the Lord, he only knew the bush was not consumed by the flames and he simply had to turn from his scheduled plan to stop and see this Great and Marvelous sight. And because he did, God called to him!

So Moses said, “I must turn aside now and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up.” When the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” (Exodus 3:3).

So I found myself wondering, am I too often in a hurry to get to where I think I’m supposed to be; do I miss the Great and Marvelous right before my eyes?

I’ve read that it is not completely extraordinary to see a bush on fire in the heat of the desert, as sometimes fires do occur naturally; they can either be ignited by the heat of the sun or by a lightning strike.

And Moses could have simply kept on moving. But he first stopped to look, willing to interrupt his shepherding schedule to pay attention; and when he did, he noticed the extraordinary. While yes, the bush was on fire, a sometimes natural phenomenon in the wilderness, the bush was not burning up; there were no charred branches and it was probably still green.

Training our eyes to see Him in the ordinary is a worthwhile pursuit. And perhaps one of the best ways we can hone both our spiritual eyesight and hearing is through another song that was sung to Him Who Is Great and Marvelous.

It is the song David sang after he had been made king and was finally able to return the ark that had been stolen in battle and lost for a generation to its rightful place in the tabernacle. A song of praise for God’s Presence among His people that is a call to thanksgiving, to proclaiming His praises, to be intentional in seeking Him, to remember every day how Great and Marvelous He Is and to then tell others.

Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples.
Sing to Him, sing praises to Him;
Speak of all His wonders.
10 Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the Lord be glad.
11 Seek the Lord and His strength;
Seek His face continually.
12 Remember His wonderful deeds which He has done,
His marvels and the judgments from His mouth…
24 Tell of His glory among the nations,
His wonderful deeds among all the peoples.
25 For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
He also is to be feared above all gods,
(1 Chronicles 16:8-12, 24-25).

After all, we were chosen exactly to do just that. Oh, let us look for every opportunity to proclaim the excellencies of Him Who Is Great and Marvelous and to tell others of His Marvelous Light.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light, (1 Peter 2:9).

And as we proclaim Him Who Is Great and Marvelous, let us be alert, looking for His Marvelous sights. Because sometimes, something as ordinary as a conversation with our checker at the grocery store, our bank teller, our hairdresser, or our neighbor, could turn into something extraordinary with the opportunity to share His Great and Marvelous Gift of Grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, (Ephesians 2:8).

And let us pray that God would open hearts to ask, and that we would be ready to answer questions about His Great and Marvelous salvation… and in the truest sense of the word, wouldn’t that be Great and Marvelous!

…he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved… (Acts 16:30-31).

Let’s Grow Together!

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