“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever, Amen”Revelation 7:12
What would provoke angels, elders and the four living creatures standing around the throne of God to worship the Lord with these words? In the previous chapter we read that a quarter of the world’s population had been killed by war and famine. The world will be in unimaginable upheaval. Much worse will follow as four angels stand ready to reap destruction on those still living (7:1). Our Creator is a righteous judge and will judge all sin and unrighteousness but because of what the Lord Jesus accomplished on the cross on our behalf He is able to show mercy and save anyone who will call upon His name.
Another angel seals 144,000 Jews who, in the likeness of the apostle Paul, will preach the Gospel throughout the world. A number beyond counting will put their trust in Jesus and many will be murdered for that faith. John sees them before God’s throne in white robes washed in Christ’s blood (vv 9-14). God Himself will dwell with them (v 15) so it isn’t surprising that there will be no more tears (v 17). At present, we who believe have the privilege and responsibility of sharing the Gospel.
In the midst of God pouring out righteous judgment on a rebellious and unbelieving world He shows His abundant mercy by sending messengers throughout the world with the Good News. In spite of the very real threat and likelihood of being murdered, multitudes choose to believe.
When times of trouble come there are many who will reach out to the Lord provided they are warned and informed of God’s available mercy and forgiveness. In the midst of wrath God remains abundantly merciful and will forgive anyone who comes to Him. Jesus is the Lamb who took away the sin of the world and through whom salvation is offered as a gift (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 6:23). “It is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16). God’s loving kindness toward people is revealed again in this: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). There is no sin, and no sinner, so great that Jesus’ death and shed blood cannot forgive and take away. Even in judgment God remembers mercy. Such is the loving kindness of our God.