Summary: 1) The Amazing Song of Moses (Revelation 15:3a), 2) The Amazing Song of the Lamb (Revelation 15:3b-4a), 3) The Amazing song of the Nations (Revelation 14:b).
Christmas music tends to separate people into two camps: people tend to either love it or hate it. For those who hate it, they will often either just tune it out, or just turn the channel for this one time of year. Even for those who love Christmas music, it tends to be a one a year delicacy. People regard the music as amazingly tacky or amazingly beautiful.
In Revelation 15, the Apostle John recounts the song of Moses and of the Lamb. What is most amazing to John is how he sees the birth of Christ not as a one off event, but God interweaving His redemptive purpose. From the first song in scripture to the last, this song ties together God’s redemptive purpose.
What if we looked at Christmas music from another perspective? Instead of seeing it as an isolated event in time looking at the birth of Christ, we saw it as part of a continuum of theology. Music is very important to God not only in what it says but as part of the broader narrative of redemptive history.
Revelation 15 weaves the broader message of Christmas together linking the totality of God’s redemptive purpose. In it we see: 1) The Amazing Song of Moses (Revelation 15:3a), 2) The Amazing Song of the Lamb (Revelation 15:3b-4a), 3) The Amazing song of the Nations (Revelation 14:b).
1) The Amazing Song of Moses (Revelation 15:3a)
Revelation 15:3a And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, (and the song of the Lamb, saying, "Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations!)
The context of Revelation 15 is one of faithfulness that triumphs. Notice how this is a collective praise in the descriptive: they sing. It is a song of corporate, not individual, salvation (cf. Gen. 3:15). (Utley, R. J. (2001). Hope in Hard Times - The Final Curtain: Revelation (Vol. Volume 12, p. 109). Marshall, TX: Bible Lessons International.)
• There is nothing wrong in personally delighting in redemption and singing ourselves of the coming of Jesus. But there are times where we should come together corporately and collectively praise His coming and victory that we all enjoy.
The song of Moses, the first of several songs recorded in the Old Testament, was one where the Israelites sang a song of praise when the Lord gave them water in the wilderness (Num. 21:17–18). This is probably the song that Moses sang (or, the song that Moses composed (Bratcher, R. G., & Hatton, H. (1993). A handbook on the Revelation to John (p. 225). New York: United Bible Societies. )
In a like manner we see, Deborah and Barak sang a triumphant victory song celebrating Israel’s defeat of the Canaanites, whose forces were led by the notorious Sisera (Judg. 5:1–31). There was a song sung to the Lord as part of the restoration of true worship in Hezekiah’s day (2 Chron. 29:27). In addition, David and others wrote the Psalms, the hymnbook of ancient Israel, and Solomon wrote the Song of Solomon.
• Song is an excellent vehicle for both remembrance and celebration of events. With the coming of Christ, our song of praise to the Father in sending the Son etches in our mind the wonder and amazement of God’s love for us.
Please turn to Exodus 15 (p.57)
The historical setting for the song of Moses comes from the time of the Exodus. As the servant/bond-servant of God, Moses was called to lead the people of Israel out of captivity in Egypt. God delivered them from Pharaoh’s pursuing army by parting the Red Sea, stacking the water on either side of a path, thus allowing the Israelites to cross safely on dry land. After they were safely across, the collapsing waters drowned the Egyptian army. On the far side of the Red Sea, the Israelites sang a song of praise to God for their deliverance.
Exodus 15:1-18 [15:1]Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the LORD, saying, "I will sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea. The LORD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him. The LORD is a man of war; the LORD is his name. "Pharaoh's chariots and his host he cast into the sea, and his chosen officers were sunk in the Red Sea. The floods covered them; they went down into the depths like a stone. Your right hand, O LORD, glorious in power, your right hand, O LORD, shatters the enemy. In the greatness of your majesty you overthrow your adversaries; you send out your fury; it consumes them like stubble. At the blast of your nostrils the waters piled up; the floods stood up in a heap; the deeps congealed in the heart of the sea. The enemy said, 'I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil, my desire shall have its fill of them. I will draw my sword; my hand shall destroy them.'You blew with your wind; the sea covered them; they sank like lead in the mighty waters. "Who is like you, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders? You stretched out your right hand; the earth swallowed them. "You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed; you have guided them by your strength to your holy abode. The peoples have heard; they tremble; pangs have seized the inhabitants of Philistia. Now are the chiefs of Edom dismayed; trembling seizes the leaders of Moab; all the inhabitants of Canaan have melted away. Terror and dread fall upon them; because of the greatness of your arm, they are still as a stone, till your people, O LORD, pass by, till the people pass by whom you have purchased. You will bring them in and plant them on your own mountain, the place, O LORD, which you have made for your abode, the sanctuary, O Lord, which your hands have established. The LORD will reign forever and ever." (ESV)