“That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10-11)
Often this passage is thought of as an admission by all sentient beings of the deity of the Lord Jesus—and it certainly is that. There surely will come a point in time in which “every thing that hath breath” will praise the Lord (Psalm 150:6). Those of us who are the twice-born will do so with great joy. Those who have chosen to reject the gospel will also do so—but with overwhelming terror (Proverbs 1:27).
However, the foundational passage from which the New Testament quotes, and by which it twice applies the event, is found in Isaiah 45:22-23: “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.”
Our verse today applies the Isaiah passage to the great final judgment referred to in Revelation 20. Other insights in Revelation cite some of the songs we may sing and something of the ceremonies and pageantry associated with the celebration of Christ’s formal assumption of His role as King.
The first New Testament quotation of Isaiah 45:23 is in Romans 14:11-12. Here, Paul applies the judgment to an open report of our deeds: “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” Surely this broader sight should strengthen our resolve to “please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier” (2 Timothy 2:4). HMM III
From Days of Praise