Worship is Not Passive

Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns.” Revelation 19:6 (ESV)

Some authorities estimate that 1,000,000 gallons of water flows over Niagra Falls every minute. That is the equivalent of about 834,000,000 pounds. Scientists say that every frequency in the sound spectrum can be heard simultaneously as the water crashes at the bottom of the falls. This phenomenon is called white noise. John could be describing such a phenomenon in Revelation 19:6.

Heaven’s worship is loud. Nowhere in the Revelation do you read that anyone silently worshiped. According to John’s account the worship was so loud at times it would have been difficult to hear anything else. He wrote, And I heard a voice from heaven like the roar of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. The voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, and they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. (Revelation 14:2-3 ESV) Not only did the sheer number of worshipers determine the volume of worship, the worshipers were worshiping loudly. After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying out, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God.” (Revelation 19:1 ESV) Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” (Revelation 5:11-12 ESV)

The fact that heaven’s worship is loud is most significant in the fact that the worshipers were actively involved in the exaltation of the One who sits on the throne and the Lamb. The biblical definition of the word worship demands an active response.

In the Old Testament the most common Hebrew word translated for worship is shachah. This word means to depress or prostrate in homage or loyalty to God, to bow down or fall down flat. The most common Greek word for worship is proskuneo. Proskuneo means to kiss like a dog licking his master’s hand, to fawn or crouch, to prostrate oneself in homage, to reverence or adore. Proskuneo is the Greek word for worship used throughout the book of Revelation.

In the Revelation each new revelation of God and the Lamb produced a demonstrative worship response. Worship requires action; it is not a spectator sport. There is no such thing as passive worship. When true revelation comes demonstrative worship naturally follows. A person who does not worship has yet to have a revelation of the One who sits on the throne and of the Lamb.

The great news is that in the future we will gather around God’s throne with all creation to worship our King. There’s more: we don’t have to wait until the sweet by and by; we can, in part, experience heaven’s worship today.

Has God revealed himself to you? Do you passively approach worship?

Scriptures for meditation:
Psalm 33:3; 47:1; 150:5
Revelation 15:3

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