HARK! TEN THOUSAND HARPS AND VOICES
Thomas Kelly, 1769–1854
Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. In a loud voice they sang: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise.” (Revelation 5:11, 12)
As Christians we often reflect about anticipated sights of heaven—golden streets, jasper walls, crystal seas, jeweled crowns … but what about the sounds of heaven? From what we can learn from the Bible, heaven is a place of loud, inspiring sounds and much music.
The author of this hymn text, Thomas Kelly, saw with the eye of imagination the thrilling scene in heaven when the thousands upon thousands of angels give praise to Christ for His victorious mission to earth to accomplish man’s redemption. And the thrilling truth is that someday we redeemed mortals will join that heavenly chorus. Throughout the ages our main occupation will be singing and playing our “glories to the King!” Alleluia!
This is another triumphant ascension hymn from the pen of Thomas Kelly, one of Ireland’s finest evangelical preachers and spiritual poets of the 19th century. The hymn first appeared in one of Kelly’s collections of hymns published in 1806. It was originally titled “Let All the Angels of God Worship Him.”
Hark! ten thousand harps and voices sound the note of praise above; Jesus reigns and heav’n rejoices; Jesus reigns, the God of love. See, He sits on yonder throne: Jesus rules the world alone.
Sing how Jesus came from heaven, how He bore the cross below, how all pow’r to Him is given, how He reigns in glory now. ’Tis a great and endless theme—O, ’tis sweet to sing of Him.
King of glory, reign forever! Thine an everlasting crown. Nothing from Thy love shall sever those whom Thou hast made Thine own: Happy objects of Thy grace, destined to behold Thy face.
Savior, hasten Thine appearing; bring, O bring the glorious day, when, the awful summons hearing, heav’n and earth shall pass away. Then with golden harps we’ll sing, “Glory, glory to our King!”
Refrain: alleluia! alleluia! Alleluia! A-men.
For Today: Isaiah 60:19; Romans 8:35–39; Hebrews 1:6; 1 Peter 3:22; Revelation 22:3–5
Ponder anew the sights and sounds of heaven. Let your heart rejoice that you will be a part of that great eternal scene. Begin preparing now with these notes of praise—