Revelation 15 (NRSV)
The Angels with the Seven Last Plagues
Then I saw another portent in heaven, great and amazing: seven angels with seven plagues, which are the last, for with them the wrath of God is ended.
This idea is also in Leviticus 26:21 — Then, if you walk contrary to Me, and are not willing to obey Me, I will bring on you seven times more plagues, according to your sins. These seven last plagues are God’s judgment on a disobedient and contrary world.
–David Guzik (and all following comments in red)
2 And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands.
Because many of the images in this chapter are connected with the Book of Exodus, some simply see an indication of the color red (fire), and with it an allusion to the Red Sea and the deliverance from bondage. Also in this chapter we see plagues, Moses, the tabernacle, and the cloud of God’s glory. This chapter shows the ultimate Exodus, the freedom of God’s people from a sinful and persecuting world.
3 And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb:
“Great and amazing are your deeds,
Lord God the Almighty!
Just and true are your ways,
King of the nations!
4 Lord, who will not fear
and glorify your name?
For you alone are holy.
All nations will come
and worship before you,
for your judgments have been revealed.”
My son Devlin has joked about the me-ness of certain Christian songs — “Here I am singing about me singing about Jesus.” This song, however, is entirely focused on the Lord, and all the pronouns refer to the Lord, “you,” and not to the worshiper, “me.”
5 After this I looked, and the temple of the tent of witness in heaven was opened,
Exodus 25:8-9 and Hebrews 8:9 remind us that the tabernacle God told Moses to build was based on a heavenly pattern. The temple of the tabernacle here refers to the heavenly reality of the tabernacle, not the earthly copy.
6 and out of the temple came the seven angels with the seven plagues, robed in pure bright linen, with golden sashes across their chests. 7 Then one of the four living creatures gave the seven angels seven golden bowls
Golden bowls, resembling the bronze basins used by the priests in the sacrificial ritual (Exodus 27:3). (The New Oxford Annotated Bible)
full of the wrath of God, who lives forever and ever; 8 and the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power,
When the cloud of glory fills the temple in heaven, no one can enter. It was the same when Moses could not enter the Tabernacle when the smoke of the cloud of God’s glory, sometimes called the Shekinah, filled the tent (Exodus 40:34-35).
and no one could enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were ended.
“The Song of Moses” — here are three completely different songs, each quite lovely. I couldn’t choose just one! So you take your pick! HERE by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. HERE by Aaron Keyes. HERE by Paul Wilbur.