7 The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. 8 But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9 Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.
This verse partially describes what Jesus’ disciple John saw in his vision of what would happen in heaven in the future. During John’s time, seals were applied to close a scroll or document to act as proof that the document. If the scroll had been opened, the seal would have been broken. If the seal was unbroken, it meant the contents of the document had not been tampered and was therefore authentic, awaiting its intended reader’s gaze.
The contents of the scroll are not explicitly described, but the verses 1-5 before this provide a sense of its important nature. First, the scroll is held in God’s right hand when He is sitting on the throne, as if it were an official object to be awarded in a formal ceremony. Second, the scroll is sealed seven times (like seven locks on a door) to indicate the importance of the document’s integrity until it is rightfully opened. Third, the person who is qualified to open the scroll is very hard to find; a universal search had been conducted, but no qualified candidate “in heaven or on earth or under the earth” could be found, suggesting that only someone beyond or greater than this universe was worthy. John has started weeping at the fruitless search, reflecting the sense of the frantic hopelessness in the atmosphere.
Then comes Jesus, the Lamb of God, who died on behalf of every person to pay the price of redeeming them from eternal slavery to sin and death. When He comes before the throne, the mood changes – hope and praise fills the atmosphere again and a new song is sung – because now this important document about the future can be opened. As He opens each seal, the following chapters describe detailed waves of painful punishment poured on the earth, and the faithful followers of God are rescued and called up to Him. Of course Jesus would be the only one to unleash punishment on the world, because He is God and He warned everyone would be judged. And of course Jesus would be the only one who could get back everyone who had trusted in Him with their souls, because He defeated death and sin when He died for them and rose again.
Thoughts for the day
- If you are a follower of Jesus, rejoice because we know the ending! He comes to call back those of us who entrust our lives to Himself, wherever we are, dead or alive. And He comes to punish those who deserve it. So you need hang in here, on this side of heaven, with your eyes and hope on Him, till the day He comes again.
- If you are not sure of whether you’ll get called up by Jesus (i.e. you have received Christ at some point, you kind of know Him, but you are not absolutely sure you know He’s got you), then hear Him saying this to you and take heart:
- “You, [fill in your name], from [fill in your tribe, language, people and nation] have been purchased for God by my blood because I was slain for you. I have bought your right to enter heaven. I’ve got you.”
- If you are not a follower of Jesus, and having read this you now know Jesus has paid the price of admission to heaven, will you accept His gift to you and trust Him with your eternity? If you say yes, rejoice and let people know
Thank you Jesus for saving me. I (re)commit myself to you, I (re)pin my hopes on you, I (re)position my eyes and hope for this life on you. Amen.