Posted By Nan

Revelation 7:1-17
This chapter starts with a description of four angels standing guard at the four corners of the earth, holding back mighty winds that will destroy the earth. Some commentators consider this is representative of faulty doctrine that will corrupt believers with its misinformation.
Whatever it is, a fifth angel appears and tells the four angels to wait until God has sealed His servants. This suggests that whatever the winds are to destroy, God chooses when they will come. Also, before they come, He will ensure those who belong to Him are protected from the destruction.
The 5th angel is said to place a seal on a total of 144,000 from the tribes of Israel. There is much discussion amongst commentators on the reason the tribe of Dan is omitted from the 12 and Manasseh (who is covered by Joseph) is included. Also Judah is placed first in the list even though he was not the first born son. Some commentators consider this number is symbolic and represents all believers, others believe it is symbolic of the tribes of Israel and contrast this number to the multitudes of gentiles who are saved out of the great tribulation (v14). Some consider these numbers represent people saved from a great tribulation that is said to come at the end, just before Jesus’ return. Others consider the great tribulation is the period after Jesus first return to heaven and was occurring during the time John wrote this book.
I know that a lot of time is spent arguing about the great tribulation and there is much division on this subject. There are many who believe they have to prepare physically for this time and stockpile large amounts of food for the expected time of tribulation. I don’t care what the exact meaning of Revelation is and if tribulation will come or is already here. I also don’t care what form the tribulation in the future is to take. Wanting to know these things suggests lack of trust in God. It is as though people need to control their worlds because they don’t believe Jesus will provide for them, despite His promises to do just that. What is important to me is to seek Jesus and seek to follow Him and be transformed into His likeness as I hand over my “rights” to self and taken on Jesus instead. This is the most important task God has set for us to do. Interpreting His word is not what He has asked of us.
In this chapter John seeks to reassure those reading that they need not fear the judgement because God will protect them. So stop worrying about how the prophesies in Revelation will play out. There are more important messages in Revelation than these. Trust God and focus on following Jesus. This is the most important message Revelation has to give.


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