Harps of God

I saw in heaven another great and marvelous sign: seven angels with the seven last plagues-last, because with them God’s wrath is completed. And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God. They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying: Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the ages. Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed. After this I looked and in heaven the temple, that is, the tabernacle of the Testimony, was opened. (Revelation 15:1-5)

What exactly are these harps of God? From the above scripture they seem to go with victory, worship and bringing glory to the King of the ages, the Lord God Almighty. I also had a mental picture of the harp as a musical instrument. Not until I wrote the article “Make Music in Your Heart!” did I discover that the harp is associated with pleasing meditations, making melody in the heart (Psalm 19:14). This meditating and making melody in your heart then comes forth from your mouth. Out of the fullness (the overflow, the superabundance) of the heart the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34). This adds a new depth of meaning to the symbol of the harp. It is more than a musical instrument used to praise the Lord!

Take a closer look at the passage above. The harp goes with the singing of the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb; it is associated with singing a new song. The new song above seems to spring forth as a celebration of victory, a celebration of deliverance by the Lord’s mighty hand. It is also a celebration of the confession of truth, of the goodness and greatness of the Lord. A similar thing is seen in Psalms 33, 43, 71.

Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous! For praise from the upright is beautiful. Praise the LORD with the harp; Make melody to Him with an instrument of ten strings. Sing to Him a new song; Play skillfully with a shout of joy. For the word of the LORD is right, And all His work is done in truth. He loves righteousness and justice; The earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.
(Psalm 33:1-5)

Oh, send out Your light and Your truth! Let them lead me; Let them bring me to Your holy hill And to Your tabernacle. Then I will go to the altar of God, To God my exceeding joy; And on the harp I will *praise You, O God, my God. Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my God.
(Psalm 43:3-5)

I will also praise You with a harp, even Your truth, O my God; To You I will sing praises with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel. My lips will shout for joy when I sing praises to You; And my soul, which You have redeemed. My tongue will tell of your righteous acts all day long, for those who wanted to harm me have been put to shame and confusion.
(Psalm 71:22-24)

Here the word for praise, yadah in the Hebrew, means to give thanks, laud, praise, to confess. I never saw before how closely the harp is linked with praise, singing AND confessing God’s name and truth. The harp also seems to be linked with testifying.

Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; Sing praises on the harp to our God.
(Psalm 147:7)

Here the Hebrew word for sing is `anah and means to answer, testify, speak. The Hebrew word for thanksgiving is towdah and means confession and “Sing praises” has the idea of touching/ strumming the strings of a harp. Look at Revelation 15 again, it’s this celebration and confession of the truth, this testifying, associated with the strumming of the harp that opens the tabernacle of the Testimony! This whole process seems to begin with the meditations of the heart and allowing the word of Christ to richly dwell there within the heart. Making music in your heart which comes forth from your mouth!

Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge {utterance, words}. For it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart and have all of them ready on your lips. So that your trust may be in the LORD.
(Proverbs 22:17-19)

My mouth will speak wisdom, and the meditation of my heart will be understanding. I will turn my ear to a proverb; with the harp I will expound my riddle.
(Psalm 49:3-4)

The above verses especially, contain an interesting idea. Meditating keeping Christ’s words, His truth in your heart brings forth music from your heart as the strumming of a harp. This music is a celebration of the confession of truth which opens the tabernacle of the testimony. A new song is sung imparting the Lord’s wisdom. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy (Revelation 19:10)!

David prophesied on the harp. He knew that this type of worship allowed the spirit of prophecy to move imparting the Lord’s wisdom. David often sought the Lord’s wisdom in this way to obtain victory in battle. That’s why he had a group set apart in his army just for the ministry of prophesying accompanied by harps, lyres and cymbals(1 Chronicles 25:1).

Elisha also seems to have known this. When Elisha needed wisdom from the Lord he requested a minstrel. He then sought the Lord’s direction as the harp was played. This was a catalyst that brought the Lord’s wisdom to Elisha resulting in victory for God’s people.

But now bring me a harpist. While the harpist was playing, the hand of the LORD came upon Elisha 1and he said, This is what the LORD says: Make this valley full of ditches. For this is what the LORD says: You will see neither wind nor rain, yet this valley will be filled with water, and you, your cattle and your other animals will drink. This is an easy thing in the eyes of the LORD; he will also hand Moab over to you. You will overthrow every fortified city and every major town. You will cut down every good tree, stop up all the springs, and ruin every good field with stones. The next morning, about the time for offering the sacrifice, there it was-water flowing from the direction of Edom! And the land was filled with water.
(2 Kings 3:15-20)

This type of worship will be very important in the last days. David’s Tabernacle is a good representation of this type of worship and will be restored revealing the Testimony of Jesus too many in the end times. From Pastor Steve’s article The Restoration of David’s Tabernacle we see that David’s tabernacle was a simple tent placed on Mount Zion. It was an open tent; all could see the ark and have access to God’s glory. This together with the following scripture seems to link this whole process of meditations in the heart, confessions of truth/ wisdom, singing a new song, harps of God, standing upon Mount Zion with the Lamb, the restoration of David’s Tabernacle and bringing the nations to fear the Lord and worship Him as the King of the ages. WOW!

Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps. They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth. These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of God.
(Revelation 14:1-5)

He has put a new song in my mouth — praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord.
(Psalm 40:3)

I never saw before the significance of the Lamb standing on Mount Zion and how it fits with the open worship of David’s tabernacle {tent}. It’s only because of the Lamb, the sacrifice of Jesus that we have access to worship the Lord and enter His presence today. This picture is not only from the past and for today but also for the future. It points to the kingdom order being restored. The restoration of David’s tabernacle being the restoration of kingdom worship and authority. Then who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to your name?

The Harps of God, a rich symbol of the restoration of kingdom worship and authority, of victory! AND making a sweet melody which rises from Christ’s word dwelling in a fully committed heart testifying to God’s truth. WOW!

Sing a new song to the Lord! Let the whole earth sing to the Lord! Sing to the Lord; bless his name. Each day proclaim the good news that he saves.
(Psalm 96:1-2)

And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to myself.
(John 12:32)