Worthy of Praise

By Mike Willis

One of the older hymns that we sing is “Worthy of Praise.” The thought for the song is taken from Revelation 5. In the fifth chapter, a glimpse into heaven is shown to man. There John saw a book that was written inside and out, sealed with seven seals. An angel asked, “Who is worthy to open the book and loose its seals?” John cried because no one was worthy to loose the seals and open the book. One of the 24 elders told him not to cry because the “lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David” was worthy to loose the seals and open the book.

John looked again and saw the “Lamb” having seven horns (his omnipotent power) and seven eyes (his omniscience) come to the throne of God and take the book from his hand. When he took the book the heavenly hosts sang,

Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hest redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation (Rev. 5:9).

Many angels joined the chorus and sang,

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing (Rev. 5:12).

Surely you recognize from these texts the familiar words to our hymn “Worthy Art Thou” by Tillit S. Teddlie. Jesus truly is worthy of our praise and for the reasons assigned to him in the text in Revelation.

Worthy of praise is Christ our Redeemer,

Worthy of glory, honor and pow’r!

Worthy of all our souls adoration,

Worthy art Thou! Worthy art Thou!

Life up the voice in praise and devotion,

Saints of earth before Him should bow;

Angels in heaven worship Him saying,

Worthy art Thou! Worthy art Thou!

Lord, may we come before Thee with singing,

Filled with Thy spirit, wisdom and pow’r’

May we ascribe Thee glory and honor,

Worthy art Thou! Worthy art Thou!

Worthy of riches, blessings and honor,

Worthy of wisdom glory and pow’r!

Worthy of earth and heaven’s thanksgiving

Worthy art Thou! Worthy art Thou!

1. He has redeemed us. He redeemed us from the curse of the Law (Gal. 3:13). He has redeemed us from all iniquity (Tit. 2:14). He redeemed us, not with corruptible things like silver and gold, but with his precious blood (1 Pet. 1:18-19). Thayer defines the word agorazo which is translated “redeem” as follows: “Christ is said to have purchased his disciples i.e. made them, as it were, his private property…. He is said to have bought them for God … by shedding his blood” (8). When we think of our salvation being purchased by God the Son taking upon himself human flesh, sacrificing his life to the miserable death of Calvary, indeed we can exclaim that Jesus is “worthy of praise.”

2. He has redeemed men of every nation under heaven. Salvation is not limited to the Jews. Salvation is available to men of every race. The gospel was sent toevery creature of every nation under heaven (Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16). “Whosoever will” may participate in its salvation (Rev. 22:17).

3. He has made us to be a kings and priests. He has exalted those whom he has redeemed to reign with him and to have access to God with him. We have not been consigned to the lowest positions. We have been elevated to be kings and priests.

He is Worthy To Receive

The text tells us that Jesus is worthy to receive “power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.” If he is worthy to receive these things, let us bring them to him. Let us bring our power, riches, strength, honor, glory and blessing to him. As we offer our worship each day, let us remember that Jesus is worthy of it.

Guardian of Truth XL: No. 14, p. 2
July 18, 1996