What a wonderful vision John shares with us in Revelation 7:9: “After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb.”
The verses that come before this powerful vision remind us that a day is coming when all the earth will be judged. We read that every corner of the earth will be wiped away when the day of judgment comes. But John’s vision brings reassurance that before this event takes place, God brings warning through his messenger with the words, “Wait!”
Before God will permit the new beginning of a new heaven and earth, we see God break through and hold back forces. What a reminder of God’s love and hope for all people! In my interpretation of verse 3, that hope is found in you and I sharing with all people that they can come into relationship with him, and be washed in the waters of baptism and sealed in the promises of Christ. God’s delay allows more to hear the Word and come into an everlasting relationship.
Then we read that those in the crowd were too great to be counted and that “they were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands.” (Revelation 7:9b-10) Reminders of the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday can’t be missed here. But now the enthusiasm shifts with the righteous and the saved seeing the right placement of Jesus, the Lamb of God, on the throne which in turn brings the crowd great joy because they see that their faith was well placed.
Years ago, I had the honor of singing Handel’s Messiah at Luther College. A thousand voices made up of alumni and current students joined in near-perfect four-part harmony to declare the “Hallelujah” chorus of Christ’s resurrection. It was a reminder that darkness will not overtake the light. Good, ultimately, wins. It was a glimpse here on earth of heaven breaking in. I still can feel the God-bumps, which propel me in the current day to share these amazing truths about our God.
Questions for reflection:
- How have you sensed God’s protection in your life over the recent years?
- What sort of seal has God placed on your life?
- How are you allowing this seal to be evident to others?
Gracious and holy God, thank you for the reassurance your Word brings to me. Lord, I thank you for the assurance I have in your promises. Please guide my words, deeds, and actions to reflect your promises to the world around me. I pray that others may come to know you in faith and will be able to sing with the heavenly chorus, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength belong to our God forever and ever! Amen.
Old Testament reading: Hosea 4-7