The writer of Revelation speaks of two songs that are sung before God in heaven. We’ll consider those songs and what they mean to us today on earth. Good day, and welcome to Let the Bible Speak. It’s a joy to be with you today. The scripture has mentioned singing on many occasions. Singing has been a fundamental part of the experience of God’s people down throughout time and according to a passage in the Revelation given to John, it occupies an important place in heaven too.
In Revelation, chapter 15, in verse three, we read of a white robed host of redeemed souls who stand before the throne of God “And they sing “the Song of Moses, the servant of God and the Song of the Lamb saying, Great and marvelous are my works, Lord, God almighty. Just and true are thy ways now, King of Saints. Who shall not fear the oh Lord and glorify thy name for thou only art holy, for all nations shall come and worship before the, for thy judgments are made manifest.”
I don’t know the tunes to which those words were song. I don’t know how it sounded as John beheld this singing before the throne of God, but we know from the lyrics that they express a profound thought. Today, I want us to consider the songs of Moses and the lamb. And you’ll notice how I say songs rather than song because John mentions two compositions, the Song of Moses, the servant of God, and the Song of the Lamb, God’s son. The Song of Moses was a victory song, and so is the Song of the Lamb. What these songs have in common and where they’re different in today’s study, the songs of Moses and the lamb, and I’ll return with that after a song from the congregation.
Music is one of the greatest expressions of human thought and emotion that exists. A thought or a feeling, which we might struggle to convey in speech, we can more easily communicate in song. Songs stimulate not only the mind, but also the heart. And perhaps this is one reason why God chose singing as one of the primary ways of worshiping him and edifying and encouraging one another. God loves to hear his people sing and he always has. In fact, he commands us to sing. He instructed the Israelites to sing in the Psalms. In the New Testament, the church is told to sing, in the various circumstances we find ourselves in, whether it be worship or in times of trouble or in times of rejoicing. It should be no surprise to read that singing plays a part in heaven.
In Revelation, chapter 15, verse three, we find those before the throne of God singing. John says, “They were not only singing the Song of Moses, but also the Song of the Lamb.” Now, the revelation of Christ given to John was a victory signal to the persecuted and oppressed saints of the first century and by extension to the church of every generation facing whatever opposition may seek to destroy it. The church was threatened by various forces in its early days, including the Roman Empire during the days of the Emperor Domitian.
To the persecuted Christians, their future seemed bleak and uncertain. The cause of Christ might have seemed a losing campaign, but the Revelation was written to kindle hope within their hearts, that all was not in vain and that truth and right would triumph, that Christ was the victor and that a day of freedom from their oppressors was coming. Christ guaranteed it.
The Revelation pictures not only the defeat of Satan, but ultimately the defeat and the eternal destruction of all who opposed the true Israel of God, the church of Christ. Well, this of course has familiar undertones from the experience of Israel of old under the leadership of Moses. Bible students are usually familiar with the Exodus and all the events that surrounded it. Moses found God’s people suffering under the cruel hand, a physical bondage to Pharaoh. They were slaves, but Moses, we recall, freed them by the power of God from the tyrannical Pharaoh.
And so, when the people finally set foot on the other side of the Red Sea and the walls of water in tuned Pharaoh’s pursuing army, Moses led them in a jubilant song of victory and exhilaration. That song was recorded in the 15th chapter of Exodus. It was a song of triumph over the oppressors who had held them in bondage for hundreds of years, and it was a song that praised God for his wonderful work. It was not their achievement. It was not their accomplishment. It was the work of God that had set them free and they rejoiced in it. It was a victory over a cruel king and over physical and material slavery.
Moses’ word did not in there. Moses led Israel through the wilderness for the next 40 years. Throughout that time, God continued to provide victory. He provided for the needs of the people. When they were hungry, he fed them with manna from heaven until they were filled. When they were thirsty, Moses struck the rock and the people drank. When they encountered an enemy, Moses raised his hands and Israel prevailed. When they were dying from snake bite, Moses raised a brazen serpent, and they were healed. These were all the more reasons to sing. When Moses gave them the law, God again gave Moses in the Book of Deuteronomy, a song to teach to the people.
Throughout their wilderness wanderings, the people Moses led were a singing people and Moses gave them the songs they sang that reflected their joy and their gratitude for all that God had done for them. But notice that after the people sang their songs of victory, they were still in encamped in the wilderness. Moses led them nine to the promised land, but he was not allowed to bring them in. As great as Moses was, he died in the wilderness. The Song of Moses is indeed a song of victory, but its triumphant strains echo through the wilderness and across the desert sands and the notes, well, they die out on the bank of the Jordan. What should that tell us? It tells us that the Song of Moses was the harmony of material blessing and victory. It proclaims victory over the defeated tyrants of the world. It declares God’s deliverance from physical slavery and from hunger and thirst and plagued and physical suffering, but ultimately that song dies on the threshold of death.
Today, we hear a lot about freedom, independence, deliverance. We celebrate those things. Men and women yearn for freedom around the world. Many of them fight for freedom. We who enjoy freedom from dictatorships and cruel and despot rulers, we relish our freedom, and we celebrate that freedom and that is within itself a wonderful song. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to sing the song of the free, but if you please, it is only the Song of Moses in a sense. It will die on the bank of Jordan. It will lie muffled in the grave, but there is another, and a much greater song. There is something much more meaningful and important than the physical and material circumstances that surround us and over which we might or might not gain freedom or victory.
This freedom that I’m talking about should be much more desired than any political freedom. When we have won this freedom, we can sing a victory song more exalted than the Song of Moses, and that is the Song of the Lamb. You see the Song of Moses proclaims that the shackles of slavery had been broken from the hands of men, but the Song of the Lamb proclaims that sin shackles are gone from the souls of men.
It’s a wonderful thing to enjoy religious freedom in a country. It’s a wonderful thing, I suppose, to enjoy the freedom of speech, to have freedom of movement, to have the opportunity to chart your course through life, but it pales beside the need for spiritual freedom. The great irony of our day is that while we celebrate physical freedom, and while we try to spread the cause of political freedom as a nation around the globe, we’re rather indifferent about the greatest freedom of all and that is freedom from sin that Jesus, our heavenly Moses, came to secure for us at Calvary that is today, this day, available for all. It doesn’t have to be fought for because Jesus Christ already acquired it. He already conquered sin. He has already pronounced the eternal vanquishment of the devil.
Now, Moses is the greatest type in the Old Testament of Jesus Christ. He prefigured the Christ who was to come and led God’s people out of a much worse bondage than that imposed by Pharaoh and that is the bondage of sin. This is the bondage that few people realize. They don’t realize they’re held in this bondage. In John the eighth chapter, beginning in verse 32 Jesus left the Pharisees befuddled with his use of the term freedom and telling them that he had come to free them. He said in verse 32, “And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” Well, “they answered him. We be Abraham’s seed and we’re never in bondage to any man. How sayest thou ye shall be made free? Really, that was a silly statement because they were in bondage to the Roman Caesar at that very time. But the real bondage that they refused to admit was the one that held them fast in its chains and just like them, it’s the same bondage that very few realize or admit today, and that is the bondage of sin. Even among those who admit to committing sin or to being sinners, they don’t really think of being held in bondage to sin and serving Satan.
Verse 34, Jesus continues. “He answered them verily, verily I say unto you, ‘Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin and the servant abideth not in the house forever, but the Son abideth ever. If the son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” My friend, there is a task master, much more terrible than Pharaoh and there is a labor that is harder than making bricks under the Egyptian sun. There is a punishment worse than the lash of a soldier’s whip. There are chains that are heavier than those made of iron and that’s the slavery of sin.
Jesus, for example, called those people in verse 44, the children of the devil. In other words, people under his influence are in bondage to him through their sin. He said, “Ye are of your father, the devil and the lust of your father, ye will do.” Here, Jesus says that the person who lives in sin and refuses to submit themselves to Christ is of the devil. He or she serves the devil. They are bound hand and foot to the devil and they spend their lives carrying out the devil’s will.
John, in his epistle, draws the same contrast between the Christian and the sinner; between the person who has been saved through obedience to the Gospel and the person who remains in the world. He says in first John, the third chapter, beginning in verse eight, “He that committeth sin is of the devil for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose, the Son of God was manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God, does not commit sin for his seed remains within him and he cannot sin because he is born of God.” Now, don’t misunderstand those statements. When he speaks of those who commit sin, he’s talking about the person who’s bound to sin. He’s talking about the sinner. He’s talking about the person who lives in sin, and we must understand there’s a difference between sin living in our heart as a resident and submitting ourselves to the power of sin. On the other hand, sin enters our life as an intruder. It’s very true that none of us will ever, as long as we live in the flesh, as long as we live in this world, that we will never reach a point that we will remain sinlessly perfect. But you see for the Christian, sin is not welcome. For the Christian, sin is an unwelcome intruder, and there’s a difference between a thief breaking into your house. You don’t want him there, but there’s some weakness maybe in the door or the window. He finds his way in and you get him out and you take measures to keep him out. There’s a difference between that and you opening the door and allowing him to come in and live, and that’s the way a lot of people are with sin.
John is making that contrast here when he speaks of one who commits sin. The person born of God doesn’t live in sin, and the person who does live in sin, he says, is of the devil. They serve the devil. They’re bound to the devil. They’re enslaved by the devil. He goes on in verse 10 to say, “In this, the children of God are manifest and the children of the devil. Whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.” You see the person who lives in sin and refuses to do the will of God is living as a slave to Satan.
Isn’t it ironic that people who resist the commandments of God and the holy life we’re called to live, turn around and claim their freedom to live as they please? Don’t most people who live in sin do so defiantly, thinking that no one has the right to tell them what to do or how to live their life. That’s the picture the Psalmist paints in Psalm two, I believe it is, when he speaks of why the heathen rage. They want to cast off the bonds and the shackles that they believe the authority of God represents, and that’s the way the sinner is today. But yet, ironically, every day those people who claim freedom from rule, freedom from someone who had tried to tell them how to live their life, the fact is every day, they march to the beat of the culture. They bow to the whims and fads of the world. They live being led about on a chain by the devil and in so doing claim to be free from the supposed ‘tyranny of Christianity’. It reminds me of what Peter wrote concerning the carnal and sensual false teachers in second Peter, chapter two, beginning in verse 18. He says, “For when they speak great swelling words of vanity they allure through the lust of the flesh through much wantonness”, and that word basically means they live fulfilling their unbridled lust. They live for their passions. He says, “those that were clean, escaped from them who live in error while they promise them liberty.” Listen, now. “They themselves are the servants of corruption. For of whom a man is overcome of the same is he brought in bondage.
Now, my friend, that’s where the world is at today. That may be where you are today. Oh, you may say that you’re living your own life, and nobody tells you how to live, but nothing could be farther from the truth. The person who commits sin is the servant of sin. The sinner lives for sin. The sinner is driven by his lust and his appetites. The sinner is motivated by the flesh, and he lives to fulfill its desires. The sinner is a slave to sin, and that’s the real tragic plight of our world.
Jesus, our heavenly Moses, came to bring us out and set us free from that bondage. When Jesus came, the world was held in that bondage. There was no victory over sin. There was no victory over death, over Satan and over hell. Sin held man a prisoner and there was no hope of liberation, except in the promise that one day Christ would come and preach deliverance to the captives. Captive to what? Captive to sin. Captives living on death row, condemned to eternal death and Hell because of sin and evil and transgression. Ironically, when he did come, many were so in love with their sin until they refused him and chose their change over the glorious freedom that he came to offer them.
Today, bondage to sin remains the greatest form of slavery in the world. All slavery is dreadful and abhorrent, and most people recognize that until it comes to the slavery of sin. They’re interested in being able to sing the Song of Moses, but not the Song of the Lamb. I mean by that, they want freedom from political bondage, but not freedom from the world and its evil system. They want freedom from debt, perhaps, but not freedom from doom. They want freedom from hunger, but not freedom from Hell. They want freedom from suffering, but not freedom from sin. Many have consequently tried to transform Jesus into an earthly Moses instead of a heavenly one. They want him to rain down manna, but they don’t hunger and thirst after His righteousness.
They want Him to provide for their material needs and use him as a cosmic bellhop to answer their prayers, but they’re not interested in being his disciple and following him. They want freedom from pain and freedom from problems, but they’re willfully blind to the freedom he actually came to bring.
The Revelation that John was given pictures the overcoming church, and I want to stress that word ‘church’. It’s a message of hope to the church, not to the world. The scenes of revelation culminate with the church overcoming the enemy, and ultimately that enemy is Satan. The saints pictured to John had not been delivered from earthly rule. They had not been delivered from poverty. They had not been delivered from sickness. They have been delivered from sin and spiritual death.
Look at the scene in Revelation chapter seven, verses nine through 14. John says, “I beheld lo a great multitude, which no man could number of all nations, kindreds, people, tongue, stood before the throne and before the Lamb clothed with white robes and palms in their hands and cried with a loud voice saying salvation to our God, which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne and about the elders and four beasts and fell before the throne on their faces and worshiped God, Saying, Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and Thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might be unto our God forever and ever. One of the elders answered saying to me, what are these which were raid in white robes and whence came they? And I said, Sir thou knowest. And he said to me, these are they, which came out of great tribulation and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
You see what the victory was? Do you see the difference between the Song of Moses and the Song of the Lamb? Both are songs of deliverance, but one was the song of deliverance from the evil forces of earth. The other, the song of deliverance from the spiritual enemy, sin, death and eternal defeat. The saints pictured in Revelation could sing the Song of Moses having been delivered from the crushing persecution of the Romans. But more importantly, they could sing the Song of the Lamb because they had been delivered from the chains of sin and condemnation. Moses delivered from material oppression. Jesus, the Lamb, delivers from spiritual ruin.
In Romans, chapter six, verse 22, Paul says that when we have obeyed a likeness of the Gospel by being baptized in the form of Christ, death, burial, and resurrection, that we “now being made free from sin have become servants to God. And ye have your fruit under holiness and the end everlasting life.” You see, that’s what the Song of the Lamb is all about. A man may escape the iron chains of Pharaoh’s Egypt and still be in hell in the wilderness.
On the other hand, a man may lay in chains in a dungeon and still have all the freedom of the Kingdom of Heaven, freedom from sin, freedom from guilt, freedom from fear, freedom from condemnation. If the children of Israel could lift their voices in jubilant song and celebrate their freedom, how much more should we long to lift ours in victory over sin that can only be found in Jesus Christ? Can you sing the Song of Moses and the Song of the Lamb? If not, I hope you’ll find freedom in Jesus today.
Are you the slave of sin today? Jesus Christ, the great emancipator, came to set you free from Satan’s bonds, victory and liberation from sin, from the condemnation of sin, from spiritual defeat is within grasp. Jesus Christ secured it in his death, upon the cross and in his resurrection from that garden tomb.
Today, you can lay hold on that victory by submitting yourself to the Lordship and the reign of King Jesus. If you would obey the Gospel of the Lord, Jesus Christ, your sins will be washed away. You will be born again, made a new creature and you will be set free from not only the penalty of sin, but the power of sin as well.
Today, we’d like to assist you in taking those steps of gospel obedience. If you need to be baptized into Christ for the remission of your sins and added to the one true church that we read about in the Bible, it would be our joy to teach you more about that and to help you take that wonderful and grand step in your life this very day. If you’d like a copy of our lesson, we’d be happy to send it to you. It’s free of cost. That’s always the case with materials that we offer here on the program. Just ask for the lesson, the Songs of Moses and of the Lamb, and we will get that on each way.
Thank you so much for spending your time with me today. I hope you have a great week ahead and I hope that in the week ahead, you’ll spread the word about Let the Bible Speak, share our page on social media, share the sermons and encourage others in your area to watch next Lord’s day, if the Lord wills, as we gather here to study the Bible once again. Have a great week. May the Lord keep you safe and may He bless you. We’ll see you next time.
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