Updated: Jun 25, 2020
Devotion by: Melody Keena
Revelation 7 and 8
There is a pause between the devastation that has occurred and what is to come to remind us that God claims us and protects us as believers in the midst of trials and tribulations. God places a seal on the 144,000 just before the worse of God's judgments are poured out on the earth. Some think these are Jewish evangelists finally ready to accept Jesus as Messiah and go out to all nations to share the gospel as they were supposed to do all along. Notice that the most rebellious tribes are not listed (Dan and Ephriam) but the Levites are included (the tribe that served God.) Judah is also listed first since it is the royal line from which Jesus came. Then we see the multitude of believers that came out of the tribulation in heaven praising God forever. It is a reminder that we will share eternity with Him and never want again for any earthly thing or experience any more trials. We need to remember, though, that all believers are sealed with the Holy Spirit as soon as they believe as a sign that we belong to God and will inherit all His promised blessings. Are you living as a "sealed one"? Would others know you are different even though they can't see the seal?
Then the seventh seal is opened and now there is utter, complete silence in heaven. All praise stops and angels, the multitude, and all other creatures around the throne of God stand in awe of what is about to happen. Sometimes there has to be silence to hear God clearly and worship Him fully. Then during the silence, incense mixed with the prayers of God's people come up before God just before the rest of the judgments are poured out on the earth. Now alll of creation is involved in the judgement of God. The first 4 trumpets destroy a third of all that is necessary to maintain life as we know it on this planet: plants, animals, water, and solar radiation. But we are told that is nothing compared to what is to come. If unbelievers were not scared enough already hiding in caves, now sheer terror reigns. Isn't it just like God to remind His people of His faithfulness and the promises He has made to them just before they have to endure tragedy. He also provides us with everything we need to go through it and bring glory to His name by our responses in the midst of it. While everyone else cowers in fear, God's people can stand firm knowing God is in charge no matter how dark the path ahead. We are loved and He knows exactly where we are and what we face each day. Praise God for His never-ending mercy that is renewed daily!