“The Contagiousness of Worship”
Worship, when it is filled with the Holy Spirit, is contagious. I expect that this is part of the reason that the scriptures emphasize that believers are to live within a covenant community. Not only can we support one another, but in our joined worship, we enable each other and lift each other up. I don’t expect that this principle could be displayed any more graphically than it is displayed here at the end of Revelation, chapter 5. As soon as the twelve elders finish their song (which we have been looking at), they are joined by the four living creatures, the four cherubim, that are around the throne. Then they are joined by “myriads of myriads” of angels.
If you are interested in mathematics, a myriad is 10,000. Thus, a myriad of myriads, would be 10,000 times 10,000, or 100,000,000. And John describes “myriads of myriads,” both being plural. Thus, if we take this number literally, there are hundreds of millions of angels around the throne singing praise (this would require a choir loft that was 10 miles long and 10 miles deep!). Regardless of whether you take this number literally or figuratively as an uncountable number, it is one heck of a large chorus!
I had the blessing a number of years ago to participate in a evening worship service at a youth retreat where there were an estimated 90,000 youth and adults—all lifting their praises to heaven. It was a beautiful thing to behold. In Exodus 15, we are told that when the Israelites had crossed over the Red Sea safely, they sang praise to God—the men being led by Moses and the women by Miriam. We can safely assume that there were at least a million people present at this event. The sound of their voices must have shook the earth! Now multiply that and imagine for a moment hundreds of millions of angelic voices lifted up in perfect harmony to our Lord and God! What an amazing thing that must have been for John to witness!
And if that wasn’t enough, all of creation lifted its voice to join the heavenly song! True worship is contagious, oh believer, what joy you have to look forward to! This chapter closes appropriately, indeed. Once this amazing chorus finishes it’s last verse, the four cherubim around the throne, say, “Amen!” And the elders fall on their faces and worship. Loved ones, this is what God has planned for you. Don’t be too busy worrying about the individual blessings that are promised in scripture—in comparison to this—they are nickels and dimes.
O For a thousand tongues to sing
my great Redeemer’s praise,
the glories of my God and King,
the triumphs of his grace.
Hear him, ye deaf; his praise ye dumb,
your loosen’d tongues employ;
ye blind, behold your Savior come;
and leap, ye lame, for joy.