“Then I saw the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him were 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of mighty ocean waves or the rolling of loud thunder. It was like the sound of many harpists playing together. This great choir sang a wonderful new song in front of the throne of God and before the four living beings and the twenty-four elders. No one could learn this song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. They have kept themselves as pure as virgins, following the Lamb wherever he goes. They have been purchased from among the people on the earth as a special offering to God and to the Lamb. They have told no lies; they are without blame.”
Revelation 14:1-5 NLT
The 144,000 learnt a new song. Only they had the right to sing it, and their praise and worship through the song triggered an outpouring of singing with a “sound … like the roar of mighty ocean waves or the rolling of loud thunder” in Heaven. John struggled in his vision to described what the worship sounded like. He recorded it was like the natural sounds of waves and thunder, but with a musical content as though many harpists were playing their instruments in a wonderful expression of how they felt about their Creator God. John knew it was a great Heavenly choir singing, and they were in a vast arena that stretched into the distance, apparently for ever. The focus of the arena was the throne of God, and, still with Him, were the four living beings and the twenty four elders. Wow!
Occasionally some churches experience an outpouring of spiritual worship as the congregation abandon the hymn book and instead spontaneously erupt in a new song, expressing their praise and worship of God. The Psalmists often encouraged the people to sing a new song. For example we read in Psalm 149:1, “Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song. Sing his praises in the assembly of the faithful.” We read in Isaiah 42:10, “Sing a new song to the Lord! Sing his praises from the ends of the earth! Sing, all you who sail the seas, all you who live in distant coastlands.” And in our recent journey through Revelation, we read in 5:9, “And they sang a new song with these words: “You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals and open it. For you were slaughtered, and your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.”
So we have the picture from John’s vision of the vast Heavenly choir singing the new song, and the 144,000 Jewish believers on Planet Earth in Jerusalem joining in. Truly a time when Heaven touches earth.
We pilgrims are encouraged to sing a new song too. But how do we create or compose a new song. We don’t, of course, have to sit down with a music manuscript and start to add the crotchets and minims, writing some lyrics as we go along, though some may want to do so. A new song is an expression of our praise and worship to our wonderful Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus. And helping us with our spiritual expression is the Holy Spirit, connecting us to the Heavenly realm. So how do we start, if singing a new song is foreign to us? We start with a prayer of adoration. Then we allow our thoughts and spirits to focus on what Jesus has done for us. Next we start to express, with a few worship words, or the Heavenly language God has given us, how we feel inside. And then sing them, choosing a note or notes that wells up within us. No straining, just Jesus.
Earthbound we might be just now, but we can join in, as our spirits touch Heaven in a song of praise and worship to God. Our spirits are in fact reaching out to join the Heavenly choir. But we sadly restrain them with our attention to our work-a-day life. Held back by the trials encountered on our journeys through life. So we must allocate time for a new song to burst from our spirits. Perhaps on the daily commute to the office. Or in our time spent in His presence at the start of our days. And in the process of singing our new songs, the resources of Heaven, in some mysterious way, flood over our souls, bringing sustenance for the day ahead. Why do we so often fill our stomachs with earthly food but starve our spirits of Heavenly fare?
So today we pilgrims join the heavenly choir in a new song of praise to our God. Just by allowing our spirits to respond to our Heavenly Father, as flowers turn towards to sun as it rises from the dawn.
Heavenly Father, we worship You today. And tomorrow. And for ever. Amen.