More than the Music: Revelation Song


            A song that we use regularly in worship at Reed Springs is the “Revelation Song” written by Jennie Lee Riddle. Our worship leader, RonnieMcDowell, does a great job of leading the church in corporate worship with biblical, theologically rich songs such as this one. “Revelation Song” really does a good job of communicating the proper attitude of worship. It is a hymn and an enthronement song. An enthronement song is one that celebrates the reign of God as Lord of the nations. It has all the correct elements: a call to worship, description of God’s attributes, and a conclusion of praise.

           “Revelation Song” is very solid with biblical theology. Since it is taken straight from chapters four and five of Revelation, it is imbued with colorful imagery but conveys a very definite message. It begins with Jesus’ sacrificial death as the Lamb of God and then immediately ties His sacrifice to the Old Testament sacrificial system by mentioning the “mercy-seat.” This indicates that Jesus is the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy and is the Messiah spoken of in Isaiah 53.

“Revelation Song” also highlights the deity of Christ many times in its lyrics. All of the second verse lists characteristics of Yahweh and assigns them to Christ. You see an interchange in the two worship songs of chapter 4 which speaks to Yahweh and chapter 5 which speaks to Christ as if the two are synonymous (because they are). Verse three of the song mentions that Jesus’ name is breath and living water. The image of living water comes from many Old Testament passages that speak of Yahweh (Isaiah 12:3; Eze 47:9; Zec 14:8), which Jesus assigns to Himself multiple times (John 4:10; 8:37). The idea of His name being breath carries with it the images of special creation when God “breathed” into man the breath of life (Genesis 2:7) and it is through the name of Jesus that the dead may live again (John 11:25, 26).
            The chorus is especially expressive of the deity of Christ in that in takes the formula of “Holy, holy, holy” first mentioned by the seraphim in Isaiah 6:3 and repeated in Revelation 4:8 by the four beasts and directs it to the subject of this hymn, Jesus. It is also in the chorus that the author is singing along with creation as unto the Creator. This hymn is theologically rich and filled with doctrine and truth. You can see a performance of “Revelation Song” by Ronnie McDowell here: