The First and Last Song in the Bible

Bible Book: Revelation  15
Subject: Song; Heaven; Lordship

Our scripture today comes from a passage in Revelation discribing an event that will take place during the Tribulation Period. Look with me today at chapter 15, beginning in verse 1. You will note in verse 1 that the text makes plain that the seven last plagues are ready to be poured out upon the earth. Note also that these plagues mark the completion of God's wrath. Rejoice, child of God, that you are not under wrath but are under grace! Through His Son, God has delivered the people of faith from the awful Day of Judgment that we read about in this text. The escape from the dark days described in our text is not due to a single thing any one of us has done or can ever do. Jesus paid it all! He won the victory for us and all we did was turn to Him in faith and accept His amazing grace.

Look at how God describes our amazing redemption. “All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions -- it is by grace you have been saved.” (Ephesians 2:3-5)

Note 1 Thessalonians 5:9: “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ."

We read in Romans 5:9, "Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!"

What love has been shown to us! What grace has been granted so that we are delivered from the time of wrath!

Our attitude in heaven, along with those who are saved out of the Tribulation, will be praise and rejoicing. We have seen this clearly in Revelation, chapter 5. In Revelation 15:2 we note that those who have overcome the beast have harps in their hands. These overcomers are no doubt those who believed upon the Lord Jesus during the tribulation and refused to take the mark of the beast or to bow down to his image. They are martyred for their faith and arrive in heaven ready to worship the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ.

Verses 3 and 4 we see the song that the saints sing who are delivered from the Tribulation. The song is called The Song of Moses, the servant of God and The Song of the Lamb. This is very interesting, for it speaks of the first song mentioned in the Bible and the last song mentioned in the Bible. This does not mean that the song of Moses, the servant of God, was the first song ever sung, rather it means that it was the first song recorded in the Word of God. The song of the Lamb mentioned in Revelation 15 is not the final song ever sung, for we shall sing through the ages of our Savior, but this is the last mention of music in the Bible. Actually, there is every reason to believe that heaven will for eternity be a place of beautiful, worshipful music!

I want us to concentrate today on The First and Last Song of the Bible. I have made the word "song" singular for a reason. The two songs mentioned in this text are in essence the same song - it is the song of deliverance, it is the song of victory over the enemy through the power and grace of the Lord. The Lord has given us an Old Testament event and song which foreshadowed the New Testament event found in Revelation 15. There are but two points of interest I want to share with you this morning regarding the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb.

I. We See the Liberated Singers

Those who sing God's songs of graced and salvation are God's liberated people - saved through His sacrifice for us. We were once captive to sin, but now we have been set free from the chains that held us. We were freed through the blood of the Lamb shed at Calvary.

A. The Salvation

Who are these who sing to the Lord? They are the ones who have overcome the beast and now stand before the Lamb. They are the people whom the Israelites typified when they overcame the Pharaoh and escaped to stand on the other side of the Red Sea.

During the Tribulation period, the beast will demand that everyone receive a mark, which will be required for housing, transportation, banking, purchases, and all other means of life on earth. Without that mark, an individual will not be able to exist during the tribulation. Those who place faith in Christ will refuse to receive the mark of the beast and due to the absence of the mark will be hunted down like animals. If the believer refuses to recant his or her faith in Christ, death will be immediate! That death will deliver the believer directly into the presence of the Lord where he or she will join all of us who are absent from the body but present with the Lord. Oh, what singing and shouting will take place on that day.

Let's go back to the firsts song mentioned as praise to the Lord in teh Bible. Back in the Old Testament, we note that the Israelites were held under the power of the pharaoh in Egypt. He controlled every function in their lives. But, God sent them deliverance – salvation – through the blood of a Lamb! They fled from Egypt and they refused to serve the Pharaoh any longer. The Pharaoh came after them and for a while it appeared the Hebrews would be overtaken and destroyed. However, God had delivered them and the enemy had no power over them any longer. They won the victory, crossed over the Red Sea on dry ground and sang the song of victory on the other side. They had been liberated and it put a song in their hearts!

All of us today who are saved are redeemed children of God. We have turned from our allegiance to Satan and given a pledge of heart and life to Christ. The Lord has made us His own and the enemy cannot claim us, and because we belong to the Lord we are a singing bunch! A church service is a meeting of liberated aliens because Christians are actually citizens of another realm. We belong to another kingdom - one that is not of this world. Our meetings are held to celebrate our salvation and to train ourselves as proper representatives of our King. Every time we meet, our King meets with us. Here in worship we are reminded of our home far away and we sing to warm up our voices for that great day in heaven when we will lose all sense of decorum and sing like we have never sung before. God's people have always been a singing people, and we always will be, but our singing in heaven will rock and shake the stars. I watch Christian worship services on television, as I am sure many of you do as well, but there is something I have noticed on many of them. Singing takes place and the camera scans the congregation. Barely half the people in the service, most of the time, are singing. Perhaps many of them feel they have no voice or gift for singing. Well, to be sure, every redeemed child of God will sing in heaven. We will not be observers - we will all be participants.

Please note that one of the precious things of life that will be missing in hell is music. They sing no songs in hell! But God’s people sing here and the Bible records that we shall sing in heaven.

Our song is a song of liberation. We are liberated from sin, from slavery, and from Satan. Out of Egypt and filled with a song of liberation are all the children of God – saved by grace!

So, first we note that the liberated people in our text sung because of their salvation. Note also, they sung because of ….

B. The Safekeeping

The liberated singers in the Old Testament came out of the land of Egypt because of the blood of a lamb. That was a foreshadowing of the redemption granted to all believers through the blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God. What was it that John the Baptist said of Jesus? "Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world."

In the Old Testament the people overcame the enemy with the blood of a Lamb, the perfect symbol of God’s Lamb that would die at Calvary in the New Testament. Once the Hebrew people were on their way toward the Promised Land, they came up against the Red Sea. The Pharaoh was behind them and a great body of water was before them. God, however, raised up a wall of water on both sides and the people walked across on dry ground. The water must have looked ominous as it stood up on either side of them as they marched through. The Pharaoh was in hot pursuit and surely their hearts trembled a little as they pushed their way along. They were safe because the Lord who brought them out, and they were safe because He was sure to bring them over to the other side as well.

Let every child of God under the sound of my voice know that you have given your life to Jesus and you belong to Him. The “pharaohs” of this world may bluster and brag, and they may seek to frighten you, but you belong to the One who controls the dark waters. You will walk across on dry ground. He will not leave you nor forsake you. Don’t let the rumble of the pharaoh’s chariots frighten you. Don’t allow the giant waters that stand on either side of you cause you to faint. Keep walking! Keep serving the Lord. He is leading you over on dry ground. He didn't get you out of captivity to leave you halfway home!

So, the liberated singers sang because of their salvation and safekeeping, but note yet another reason for their song…

C. The Shore

At last those Old Testament saints came to the shore and turned to watch as the Red Sea collapsed on the enemy chasing them. There is a shoreline awaiting the New Testament saints who are marching through the difficult valleys and roaring seas of this world.

"There’s a land that is fairer than day,

And by faith we can see it afar;

For the Father waits over the way

To prepare us a dwelling place there.

The melodious songs of the blessed;

And our spirits shall sorrow no more,

Not a sigh for the blessing of rest.

To our bountiful Father above,

We will offer our tribute of praise

For the glorious gift of His love

And the blessings that hallow our days.

In the sweet by and by,

We shall meet on that beautiful shore;

In the sweet by and by,

We shall meet on that beautiful shore.” (Samuel F. Bennett, 1868)

It is not a pipedream, nor is it a figment of someone’s imagination or a fairytale! There is a shore and the Captain of our Salvation is guiding us toward a happy arrival. No wonder we are a singing people!

We see the liberated singers in the Old Testament song – the first song mentioned in the Bible, now let’s look at the Celebrated Savior – the last song mentioned in the Bible.

II. We See the Celebrated Savior

Now let us look at this song as it will be sung in heaven: “… and they sang the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb: ‘Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the ages. Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.’” Revelation 15:3-4

Now remember that song sung long ago, by the Red Sea, was but a foreshadowing of the song to be sung in heaven one day by all the redeemed. We discover the song of Moses, the servant of God, in Exodus 15:1-19:

Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the LORD: "I will sing to the LORD, for he is highly exalted. The horse and its rider he has hurled into the sea. The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him. The LORD is a warrior; the LORD is his name. Pharaoh's chariots and his army he has hurled into the sea. The best of Pharaoh's officers are drowned in the Red Sea. The deep waters have covered them; they sank to the depths like a stone. Your right hand, O LORD, was majestic in power. Your right hand, O LORD, shattered the enemy. In the greatness of your majesty you threw down those who opposed you. You unleashed your burning anger; it consumed them like stubble. By the blast of your nostrils the waters piled up. The surging waters stood firm like a wall; the deep waters congealed in the heart of the sea. The enemy boasted, 'I will pursue, I will overtake them. I will divide the spoils; I will gorge myself on them. I will draw my sword and my hand will destroy them.' But you blew with your breath, and the sea covered them. They sank like lead in the mighty waters. Who among the gods is like you, O LORD? Who is like you -  majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders? You stretched out your right hand and the earth swallowed them. In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling. The nations will hear and tremble; anguish will grip the people of Philistia. The chiefs of Edom will be terrified, the leaders of Moab will be seized with trembling, the people of Canaan will melt away; terror and dread will fall upon them. By the power of your arm they will be as still as a stone-- until your people pass by, O LORD, until the people you bought pass by. You will bring them in and plant them on the mountain of your inheritance-- the place, O LORD, you made for your dwelling, the sanctuary, O Lord, your hands established. The LORD will reign for ever and ever." When Pharaoh's horses, chariots and horsemen went into the sea, the LORD brought the waters of the sea back over them, but the Israelites walked through the sea on dry ground." Exodus 15:1-19

There are several things in this song we need to consider…

A. The Works by the Lord are Celebrated

The song rehearsed all that God was doing and had done. When we worship, we are to celebrate all that our Lord has done for us. The song can be said to have two tracks. Track one speak of His Greatness. Track two speaks of His Grace. When we worship and when we sing, we are celebrating the works of God.

B. The Ways of the Lord are Celebrated

Note how He Saves, Protects, Blesses and Upholds His own. No matter how fierce the enemy, our God will see us through it all! Things we complain about over here, we will rejoice about over there. We will see things more clearly. We will understand it better by and by! Some of His ways confuse us over here, but we will know as we are known over there. Now we see through a glass darkly, but over on the other shore we will understand it all in the light of His glory! Oh yes, we will celebrate His ways – the way he led us through it all.

C. The Worship before the Lord is Celebrated

Note the boasting of the enemy. See the word "I" in verse 9, it is used by the enemy five times. It is the song of selfishness. When we see the saints in song, you do not hear the use of the the word “I” at all! We sing using the word "YOU!" The only time the words "my" or "I" are used in the song recorded in Exodus is when they are used to speak of total devotion to the Lord. One day every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that He is Lord to the glory of God the Father. He is Lord! Oh, the song of the child of God contains the word "You," because we are referring to the One who paid it all, who holds us in His hand, who keeps us by sealing us with His Holy Spirit, who will never leave us, who has our names carved in His hand, and has our names written in the Lamb's Book of Life.

Heaven is a place where the redeemed rejoice in the Redeemer. When we reach the heavenly shore, we will sing the song of victory and give the glory to the One who won the victory – the Lamb of God. No wonder we see the saints singing, “Worthy is the Lamb,” in Revelation 5! We will worship Him and celebrate Him.


We are singing over here and we will sing over there. We are celebrating here and we will celebrate over there. Our joy is wrapped up in the One who defeats the evil one and overthrows his demonic army. Let every liberated soul praise Him. Let every saved person honor Him. We are heading for home – our heavenly home. Never fear the walls of water around you or the enemy who seems to be on your trail. Your God has saved you and you will arrive on dry ground one day.

"Keep looking up,

Keep moving on,

Keep walking in the Light,

Till home is in sight."

Every child of God can sing:

"On Jordan’s stormy banks I stand,
And cast a wishful eye
To Canaan’s fair and happy land,
Where my possessions lie
I am bound for the promised land,
I am bound for the promised land;
Oh, who will come and go with me?
I am bound for the promised land." (Samuel Stennett)

Perhaps there is someone here today who has never trusted in the Lamb of God. He died at Calvary for you, and He rose from the dead to grant you eternal life. You can trust Him today as you turn from sin and place your faith in Him. You can join that happy band of people around the throne of God one day in heaven singing and rejoicing.

There are some Christians here who feel like you are in a strange land. Well, you are! This world is not your home. What you need is a new commitment to His love and grace. You can come to Him now and renew the reality of His presence and power in your life.

It is fitting that we always sing a song during the invitation time. One day we will sing our last invitation hymn on this earth – let’s make the decisions we ought to make today – let’s do so as if this is our last chance to sing an invitation hymn before meeting our Lord.