22 MAY 2016
HOLY, HOLY IS WHAT THE ANGELS SING
What will it be like when Jesus returns and we are all resurrected to meet Him along with the living righteous? What will we be like? Scripture tells us: “It will all happen in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For there will be a trumpet blast from the sky, and all the Christians who have died will suddenly become alive, with new bodies that will never, never die; and then we who are still alive shall suddenly have new bodies too.” (1 Corinthians 15:52 TLB). Do you ever wonder what that new, perfect body will look like? Will we all be the same height, weight, and complexion? Or will those characteristics we carry on earth remain but become unimportant, as if invisible, because we won’t look at each other with criticism, with a sinful eye? Does what you will look like matter to you? I sometimes wonder if we might carry some of the scars of our greatest trials as a reminder of the impact of sin, but then I read the verse in Isaiah that says, “I am creating a new heaven and a new earth. The troubles of the past will be forgotten. No one will remember them.” (Isaiah 65:17 ERV) and again in Revelation: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There won’t be any more death. There won’t be any grief, crying, or pain, because the first things have disappeared.” (Revelation 21:4 GW). If we were resurrected with even one scar or blemish to remind us of the past, how would we be without tears or grief? Jesus retained the scars in His body as a reminder to all the universe of what was required to fix the sin problem – His perfect sacrifice! Why did the Lord have that salvation plan? Why didn’t He just destroy the human race once it failed the test? David asked the questions, “But why is man important to you? Why do you take care of human beings? You made man a little lower than the angels. And you crowned him with glory and honor.” (Psalm 8:4-5 ICB). So do we become like angels when we are raised from the dead? When Jesus comes back to claim His own, are we given wings, like the seraphim or cherubim? Just what will we be like?
Scripture tells a little about how we will live once Jesus takes us home. “When people rise from the dead they neither marry nor are they given in marriage; they live like the angels in Heaven.” (Mark 12:25 PHILLIPS). Living like the angels does not mean that we physically become like angels. It means that our mindsets will be elevated to look at life from the point of view of the heavenly hosts. Taken in context, this passage is saying that we won’t worry about forming families, after all, we are all a part of the family of God. There will also be differences in our roles versus the roles of angels, just as there was at creation. Angels serve the Lord in a variety of capacities, which is a Bible Study in itself. Humans were created to commune with the Almighty, to walk and talk with Him, to give Him the pleasure of companionship that angels are unable to do. And, since we were redeemed, we have a different song to sing from the angels. In one of Isaiah’s visions, he saw the heavenly hosts praising the Lord: “The angels were calling to each other, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord, All-Powerful. His Glory fills the whole earth.” (Isaiah 6:3 ERV). They have always been there to glorify the Lord and serve at His will, and to celebrate humanity’s salvation wit the Lord. “In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:10 NIV). Humans can sing a new song, a different song from the angels. They/we will sing the song of redemption, thanksgiving, and love for the Savior of mankind! It seems that there will be more than one song sung by humanity. The first is the one sung by the 144,000 (there is debate among theologians over who is included in this group, whether faithful Hebrews who lived before Christ, converted Jews from the Christian Era, or a random group whom the Lord saw as special in some way.) They sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn that song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth.” (Revelation 14:3 MEV). And then the song that the multitude which no one can count is shouted from all directions of the earth: “When this was done I looked again, and before my eyes appeared a vast crowd beyond man’s power to number. They came from every nation and tribe and people and language, and they stood before the throne of the Lamb, dressed in white robes with palm-branches in their hands. With a great voice they shouted these words: “Salvation belongs to our God who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb!” (Revelation 14:9-10 PHILLIPS). I just want to be numbered among the faithful, regardless of which group that may be!
My heart song today is very dear to my heart. I did not know that it was an older hymn; I thought it had been written in recent years, but the words mean a lot to me!
“There is singing up in Heaven
Such as we have never known,
Where the angels sing the praises
Of the Lamb upon the throne,
Their sweet harps are ever tuneful,
And their voices always clear,
O that we might be more like them
While we serve the Master here!
Holy, holy, is what the angels sing,
And I expect to help them make
The courts of Heaven ring;
But when I sing redemption’s story,
They will fold their wings,
For angels never felt the joys
That our salvation brings.
But I hear another anthem,
Blending voices clear and strong,
“Unto Him who hath redeemed us”
and hath bought us, is the song;
We have come through tribulation
To this land so fair and bright,
In the fountain freely flowing
He hath made our garments white.
Then the angels stand and listen,
For they cannot join the song,
Like the sound of many waters,
By that happy, blood washed throng,
For they sing about great trials,
Battles fought and victories won,
And they praise their great Redeemer,
Who hath said to them, Well done.
So, although I’m not an angel,
Yet I know that over there
I will join a blessèd chorus
That the angels cannot share;
I will sing about my Savior,
Who upon dark Calvary
Freely pardoned my transgressions,
Died to set a sinner free.”
“Those the Lord has saved will return to their land. They will sing as they enter the city of Zion. Joy that lasts forever will be like beautiful crowns on their heads. They will be filled with gladness and joy. Sorrow and sighing will be gone.” (Isaiah 51:11. NIRV). Have a blessed day!