We all know the words: “When we all get to Heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be! When we all see Jesus, we’ll sing and shout the victory.” This is one of my favorite hymns. I’ve always loved the thought of worshipping God in Heaven surrounded by fellow Christians, family members, and the angels. Something I believe we don’t look at enough is how the angels worship God. I think it would be instructional and wise for us to look into the Bible and ask: how is God worshipped in Heaven? We can learn a lot from the angels as we see how they worship God. If we can emulate what we learn from the angels, perhaps we can draw closer to God in our own worship as we emulate the worship taking place in Heaven right this very moment.
Angels Worship in Humility
How is it that the angels worship God? We have a picture of that in Isaiah chapter six. We actually have quite a few pictures of angels worshipping before the throne of God in Heaven. One interesting thing to observe in verse two are the wings of these angels, the seraphim. With two wings they covered their face. It is a concept that the New Testament speaks of as shamefacedness. When the angels stood before the throne of God they took two wings to cover their face. It was not because they were sinners. These were holy angels that loved and served God. There was not a trace of sin in them. Yet, there was still this sense of utter humility before God Almighty. Angels, first, worshipped God in humility. As majestic as we might envision the angels to be, they see themselves as quite small before God. True worship has to take place in an atmosphere of humility.
Angels Worship in Reverence
Also in Isaiah chapter six, we see that angels worship not only with a sense of humility, but also with a deep sense of reverence. They chanted before God’s throne (in Isaiah 6 and later on in Revelation 4), “Holy, holy, holy” (Isa. 6:3). Holiness is the main characteristic of God. It, above all others, is to be emphasized in our worship. God is faithful, just, kind, and compassionate, but the angels are not standing before the Lord saying wise, wise, wise or compassionate, compassionate, compassionate. They stand before His throne day and night saying, “Holy, holy, holy.” His holiness incorporates all these other attributes. So whatever we do in our worship time should enhance our appreciation of God’s holiness and our reverence for Him and anything that diminishes or takes away from this sense of awe before His holiness ought to be removed entirely from our worship.
Angels Worship in Awe, Wonder, and Fear…
The writer of Hebrews (in chapter twelve) exhorts his readers to worship with reverence and godly fear. That is what we see in the Bible when believers gather to worship the Lord. It was with a sense of reverence. And to take that one step further, it was with a sense of awe and fear.
In Job 38 we learn that when God created the heavens and the earth, the angels were there. On the very first day of creation the angels were there and it says that “the sons of God shouted for joy” (Job 38:7) at the creation that came from God’s spoken Word. So, here we have a picture of angels standing in absolute awe and wonder and amazement at what they saw before their eyes. They were just recently created and suddenly they have a front row seat to watch God put together the Earth, the Sun, the Moon and the stars and a vast universe. They stood there and observed, and their breath was taken away from them. They could do nothing but shout for joy. They watched God create and they did so in wonder and awe. They sang with hearts full of worship, and that worship was characterized by a sense of awe and wonder at the majesty of God.
Angels Worship Unceasingly
In Revelation chapter four we find another characteristic of angelic worship. Revelation 4:8 says, “they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty.” Here we see that the angels round about God’s throne never stop. Their worship is with a sense of awe and of wonder and it is also unceasing. They never stop worshipping God day and night before His throne, chanting “holy, holy, holy.”
Worship is something that ought to characterize our whole lives, not just on Sunday morning, not just when we get together, but the sense of humility before our Creator ought to follow us around everywhere we go. In the book, ‘Unceasing Worship’ by Harold M. Best, this idea of unceasing worship is explored. Worship is the continuous outpouring of all that we are, all that we do and all that we can ever have in light of a chosen or choosing God. God is the uniquely Continuous Outpourer. He cannot but give of himself, reveal himself, pour himself out. Because God is the Continuous Outpourer, we bear his image as continuous outpourers. It is an intrinsic part of our nature to worship and remains within us ceaselessly.
But, how often do we forget that we are created to be continuously outpouring? What are we continuously outpouring? Who are we worshipping? When we worship anything but God alone, we become idolaters. God alone deserves our worship.
Angels Worship Enthusiastically
Another way the angels worship the Lord is with great enthusiasm. In Revelation 5:12, the angels in Heaven were saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb.” They did not mumble. They were not falling asleep. What we see here are angels around the throne of God with great enthusiasm for God, and no one else – just God. Being right there in His presence excited them and it caused them to have enthusiasm in their worship. You know, when we sing, it is right for us to be enthusiastic. It is right for us to have some excitement, life, emotion and feeling as we sing these songs. We noted earlier, when the angels of God were watching God create the universe (in Job 38) it says they shouted loudly. They shouted out for joy. Read Psalm 150 sometime. It is a great psalm of praise where they praised God with a loud voice. They praised Him with sounding cymbals. They praised Him with great enthusiasm.
Angels Worshp God in Unity
Another thing about angels’ worship can be seen in Revelation 5:11. “And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands.” That’s a lot of angels… But, they praised God with one voice. Voice is in the singular. What we see here is that angelic praise and worship is in unison. When they praised the Lord, it was with one voice, one united voice. “Worthy is the Lamb,” and it was the same song on every single heart of each one of those angels. They were in perfect agreement that the Son was worthy to be praised.. As we gather together to worship, we need to leave all the baggage that does not belong here, outside. We need to come here as like-minded believers to worship God with one united voice. “Worthy is the Lamb!”
As you gather to worship this weekend, think of how the angels are worshipping in Heaven. Think of how you can apply the attributes of their worship to your daily worship. If we can emulate what we learn from the angels, perhaps we can draw closer to God in our own worship as we emulate the worship taking place in Heaven right this very moment.
Howard M. Best – Unceasing Worship
Salem Bible – “How The Angels Worship” – Author Unknown http://www.salembible.org/biblestudies/issues/howtheangelsworship.ht