At present I am reading the Book of Revelation with a commentary in my devotional times. Chapters 4-7 are so amazing I want to share them with you – do read them for yourself! After the well-known letters in chapters 2 and 3 John is transported to the very door of heaven to see the glory and worship of God himself. It is a stunning vision of the very presence of God and Jesus in their glory. We all need to share that vision with John, so do let yourself be lifted up into the glory of the presence of the Lord. Read again Revelation chapters 4 and 5! Then in chapter 6 the seals are opened and the horrendous judgment of God is declared.
In our world today evil and godlessness seem rampant and all-powerful. But finally all sin and rebellion against the Lord will be defeated and God’s fearful judgment will come. In Revelation 6 this judgment does not come from a powerful vindictive deity, but it is the “wrath of the Lamb”. What a paradox! Judgment comes from the humble, loving, self-sacrificing Lamb of God. Ultimately his righteousness and justice will prevail and will be vindicated. Very reassuring!
Then comes chapter 7 with God’s great purpose for humankind. First comes the salvation of the 144,000 – 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel. The number 1,000 stands for a huge crowd, but it is not unlimited. So “all Israel” in Romans 11.25 does not mean every single Jew, but a multitude of Jews of every background and type will be saved. The horrific judgment against all who reject God’s Messiah and Saviour is delayed until the salvation of the 144,000 has been sealed. How we look forward to such a huge multitude of Jews following Jesus as their Messiah, Lord and Saviour! Let us pray and work for this! But then a great crowd from every nation, tribe, people and language will also be gathered together around the throne of the Lamb to worship and adore him. What a glorious day that will be! What a vision to motivate us for mission both to Jews and to all nations everywhere!