Thursday, October 27, 2016

Revelation 7:1-8

Revelation 7:1-8
After this I saw four angels having set upon the four corners of the earth while grasping the four winds of the earth strongly in order that a wind should blow neither upon the earth nor upon the sea nor upon a tree.  And I saw another angel while going up from a rising sun while having a seal of the God who lives.  And he cried out by a great voice to the four angels who were being given to wrong the earth and the sea while saying, “Wrong neither the earth nor the sea nor the trees until we should seal the slaves of our God upon their foreheads.  And I heard the number of the ones who have been sealed: 144,000 having been sealed out of all the tribes of the sons of Israel.  Out of the tribe of Judah: 12,000.  Out of the tribe of Reuben: 12,000.  Out of the tribe of Gad: 12,000.  Out of the tribe of Asher: 12,000.  Out of the tribe of Naphtali: 12,000.  Out of the tribe of Manasseh: 12,000. Out of the tribe of Simeon: 12,000.  Out of the tribe of Levi: 12,000.  Out of the tribe of Issachar: 12,000.  Out of the tribe of Zebulun: 12,000.  Out of the tribe of Joseph: 12,000.  Out of the tribe of Benjamin: 12,000

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

Once more, let’s focus first upon God’s identity.  Do you hear the description of God?  God is a living God.  He is not a God that can be contained by images, icons, or statues.  He is not a God whose likeness can even be shaped by mankind.  This is supposed to be a message of hope to the readers.  After all, if we believe in a dead God or we believe in a God that can be housed in stone or wood, then what God is that God?  If God is a God that can be contained, how can He be eternal or omnipotent?  No.  God is living.  He is beyond the bounds we can place upon Him.  He is our greatest source of hope.

What is God to you?  In what ways do you live in a way that testifies to God’s living nature?

Second Thought:

We can learn even more about God by looking at these angels.  First of all, they are strong.  They hold back the winds!  They also are capable of carrying the very seal of God!  What can we learn about God?  God is a God of strength.  But He is also a God of possession.  You put seals on things that you wish to claim or certify as your own.  God desires us to be His.  Through His great strength, He can claim us.  Yet, there is even a deeper imagery here.  Remember that this scene is happening in the midst of the opening of the seven seals.  Don’t forget that we’ve only gotten through six of them!  Before we get to the seventh seal, the seal of completion, we get a glimpse of God’s own seal.  As God is revealing human nature to us, He reveals His own nature, too.  As we see the dark side of humanity, we see that God is a God who desires to claim us.

How do you feel knowing that God desires to claim you?  How have you felt His claim upon your life?

Third Thought:

Finally, we meet the ones to be sealed.  Notice that they are being sealed for their protection.  They are not meant to be harmed.  When we are sealed by God, we are blessed with His protection – an eternal protection.  This is a blessing that cannot be touched by anything.  Once we have His blessing for protection, who can take it away from us?

How has god protected you in your life?  How do you know that God’s protection is indeed eternal?

Passage for Tomorrow: Revelation 7:9-10
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