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Revelation 6, 7: The Third Facet

Week 5, Friday: The chosen of the Lord
In chapter 7 our vision returns to heaven, where the worship we entered in chapters 4 and 5 is augmented yet again, and we learn of a “great tribulation” that is taking place on earth.

We also learn something new about the Lamb (v. 17), Who seems to be directing all that is happening in heaven, even as He rides forth conquering and to conquer on earth.

Read Revelation 7

Meditate on Revelation 7.1-9
1.      Angels serve the purposes of God in various ways, as we learn from the Old Testament. Their particular focus is whatever conduces to the wellbeing of those on whom God has set His redeeming love (Ps. 91.9-13). How would you describe the work of the angels mentioned in verses 1-3? Do you think this is really possible? Don’t things like this just “naturally” happen? Explain. Verse 3 seems to suggest that angels have something to do with “sealing” the “servants of our God.” How should we understand this?

2.      Verses 4-8 answer the question of 6.17. We’re encouraged not to take this report “literally” but in a figurative way. How can you see that, for example, from the names of the tribes mentioned here, as well as the order in which they are mentioned? Which tribe is missing? Which tribe should have been listed first? Why was Judah mentioned first (cf. Gen. 49.8-11)?

3.      A second reason to think figuratively about this report is the number – 144,000. We’ve already seen that the Lord uses numbers in a figurative sense in Revelation. How have the numbers 7 and 3 been used? The number 4 in verse 1, as well as in Revelation 4.6, represents creation. What does the number 12 represent in the Old Testament? What about in the New Testament? The number 1,000 is a number of completion, so if we multiply 12 x 12 x 1,000, what does this number seem to suggest? How does the idea of these being “sealed” (the word occurs in vv. 3, 4, then for each tribe) also contribute to this idea?

4.      Look at verse 9. John heard an announcement (v. 4); then, when he looked in the direction of what he heard, what did he see? Again, how does this help us to think about the answer to the question raised in Revelation 6.17?

5.      What are these people wearing? Putting this together with Revelation 6.11, how does this help us further in understanding who this “great multitude” is? What’s the significance of the palm branches in their hands (cf. Jn. 12.1-15)?

My Reflection
How would you describe the character of these people who are “standing before the throne and before the Lamb”? Review chapters 4-7. What are these people doing? How does this compare with your own worship?

The Glory of God
What is the “seal of the living God” (cf. Eph. 1.13, 14)? What is the effect of this “seal” being applied to a “great multitude”? How does this “seal” seem to relate to the Lamb and Him Who sits on the throne? How does this help you in thinking about our God?

Glory to Glory
Worship, holiness, the “seal” of God, and overcoming all seem to be related in chapters 2-7. In a single sentence, how would you describe the relationship between these ideas? How does this come to expression in your life?

Review Revelation 6.1, 2. Write a prayer based on this verse and the sentence you wrote for the “Glory to Glory” section above.

Closing Prayer
You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.
Gird Your sword upon Your thigh, O Mighty One,
With Your glory and Your majesty.
And in Your majesty ride prosperously because of truth, humility, and righteousness;
And Your right hand shall teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp in the heart of the King’s enemies;
The peoples fall under You.
Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.

Psalm 45.2-6

T. M. Moore

The book of Revelation is the culminating episode in the story of God’s covenant. To learn more about that covenant, and to discover the way it integrates all of Scripture into the Gospel of Jesus Christ, order a copy of T. M.’s book, I Will Be Your God, by clicking here.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
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