I woke up this morning with this tune stuck in my head and thought I'd share with the Internet.
Though there are four verses, there are three distinct themes that form a loose A-B-A structure (the 'A' parts reflect God's glory, and bracket the 'B' part, which focuses on our need for a Savior and Christ's Salvation):
A: The Holy Trinity and God's eternal reign,
B: Christ's redemptive act through his death and resurrection, and
A: God's dominion over heaven, the Church on earth, and all creation.
The hymn text:
Glory be to God the Father,
Glory be to God the Son,
Glory be to God the Spirit:
Great Jehovah, Three in One!
While eternal ages run!
Glory be to Him who loved us,
Washed us from each spot and stain;
Glory be to Him who bought us,
Made us kings with Him to reign!
To the Lamb that once was slain!
Glory to the King of angels,
Glory to the Church;s King,
Glory to the King of nations;
Heaven and earth, your praises bring!
To the King of Glory sing!
Glory, blessing, praise eternal!
Thus the choir of angels sings;
Honor, riches, power, dominion!
Thus its praise creation brings.
Glory to the King of kings!
The final verse features a "choir of angels," singing eternally.
I don't know about you, but when I consider eternity, I don't necessarily imagine singing the whole time! Wasn't I supposed to spend it playing with my long-dead childhood pet dog? I've actually heard atheists say that an eternity of praising God would be "boring."
I believe the hymn author is describing the overwhelming sense of gratitude we (should) feel, knowing that while we are sinful, corrupt, and condemned--by nature and choice, we are redeemed through God's redemptive Grace. The joy that comes from our Salvation (verse 2) overflows to the point where we have no choice but to spend eternity in endless praise. Eternity starts today, so we should be comforted, joyful, and "praise-ful" in all things.
This hymn teaches us that God is glorious and deserving of all glory: not simply because of his supreme power, but also because of his supreme mercy and grace!
After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying,
"Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God; 2 because His judgments are true and righteous; for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, and He has avenged the blood of His bond-servants [a]on her."
3 And a second time they said, "Hallelujah! Her smoke rises up forever and ever." 4 And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne saying, "Amen. Hallelujah!" 5 And a voice came from the throne, saying,
"Give praise to our God, all you His bond-servants, you who fear Him, the small and the great." 6 Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying,
"Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns."