One insight:

  1. In Revelation 18 we read of the three woes: the kings of the earth, the merchants who made Babylon rich and the captains of the sea (“all who earn their living from the sea” (18:17))–all lamenting the time had come, “In one hour” (vv 10, 17 & 19). Babylon, the personified culture of all things against God, “In her was found the blood of prophets and of God’s holy people, of all who have been slaughtered on the earth” (18:24). Finally, the history of God’s holy people being tortured by Satan and his followers has come to an end.

    “a great multitude in heaven shouting:’Hallelujah!’ Salvation and glory and power belong to our God” (19:1) Hallelujah was repeated and those who served at the throne joined in “Amen, Hallelujah!” (19:4). Then the angel said to me, “Write this: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’ And he added, ‘These are the true words of God’” (19:9). Those who are invited to the wedding supper…we and all who have stood with God, with Jesus and in the Holy Spirit, we are invited to the feast of all feasts.

    As Christ makes his entrance, I hear Handel’s Messiah in my mind, the infamous Hallelujah chorus with a great and mighty crescendo:

    “King of Kings, forever and ever
    and Lord or Lords, hallelujah, hallelujah
    (pause) Hallelujah!!!”

    I was able to sing this in a professional production some seven years ago (to be clear, I was not one of the professionals!). There is something incredibly powerful in the rest before the very last hallelujah. Listen for that when you get a chance, but listen to the whole phrase to get a sense for the power in the silence. There is no doubt Handel was inspired to write the piece. Though most have heard this chorus, the entire piece is provides a fantastic view of Christ. Support a Christian artist and buy Handel’s Messiah in its entirety.

    “But the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed the signs on its behalf” (19:20) and our victory is nearly complete as Satan is vanquished once and for all.

    Lord, as we bask in the glory of Christmastime, help us to remember those who have been led astray by forces of evil, those who have tasted the Turkish Delight and have been lured away to darkness.

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