“After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, “Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God! “For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her“
The first 10 verses of chapter 19 set forth heaven’s song of triumph at God’s sovereign will over Babylonianism. The marriage supper of the Lamb is the celebration event. This is the climax of Revelation.
After these things
The words “after this” indicate a change from the events of the destruction of Babylonianism in chapters 17 and 18. In 18:20, there is a command to rejoice over the fall of Babylon. Here is the obedience to that command. Four groups respond to God’s command to rejoice.
I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, “Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God!
First, a great multitude in heaven sings a song of praise to God (vv. 1-3) because of the defeat of the Babylonian system. These people are probably the martyred dead of the Tribulation period.
What a striking contrast to the events of chapters 4-18! The worshippers of Babylonianism mourn the loss of their money, and the worshippers of God rejoice over God’s defeat of Babylonianism. God defeated the forces of evil, and now the Tribulation will end.
The word “alleluia” (Greek; hallelujah in Hebrew) only occurs in the book of Revelation in the New Testament (19:1, 3-4, 6). “Hallelujah” occurs many times in the Old Testament, especially in the Psalms. The word means to praise Yahweh, praise the Lord.
The saints praise God because of “salvation.” It is all His work. Jesus paid for our sins. We did not have to do it. God gives us the power to carry out the Christian life. It is God who will bring us to glory. God does it all en toto; all to Him, we owe. The only thing that we can contribute to our salvation is trust in what God did for us. We cannot take credit for any form of our salvation. This explains the “alleluia.” These saints understand that everything they have is by the grace of God.
These saints also understood something of the “glory” of God. “Glory” is the manifestation of God’s essence. They understood who and what God is in His work of bringing creation to a meaningful conclusion.
The third thing these saints recognized is that God is a person of “honor.” Honor belongs to the noble, to Him, that operates with distinction. The saints respect the integrity of God because He is true in His justice and faithfulness. They are free to give God applause. C. C. Colton said, “Applause is the spur of noble minds, the end, and aim of weak ones.”
These saints also recognize the “power” of God. The word for power here means inherent power. They clearly understood God’s ability to do whatever He chooses to do. He is omnipotent.
For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her.”
True worship centers on the character and actions of God. In this verse, we have an affirmation of God’s truth and justice. God is not unfair or unjust. God ultimately avenges those who wrong His people.
The word “true” indicates that God is consistent in His character. Every decision of God is consistent with everything that He does. If God judges one person and then judges another, it is always perfectly consistent with His character. His “righteousness” is His character. God is absolutely fair. God is always consistent with Himself.
God is always fair.
God’s judgments always accord with His character. The more we understand God’s character, the more we understand His judgments.
Some people tend to make God out to be a spineless being without character. This is sloppy thinking about God. In keeping with their own assumptions, they think that God must be tolerant and nice.
They reject the idea of hell because their God has only one attribute – the attribute of love. However, God is a righteous being, as well as love. He must be consistent with that righteousness.