Revelation 7:1–8 (ESV)
The 144,000 of Israel Sealed
7 After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, that no wind might blow on earth or sea or against
any tree. 2 Then I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm earth and sea, 3 saying,
“Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” 4 And I heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:
5 12,000 from the tribe of Judah were sealed,
12,000 from the tribe of Reuben,
12,000 from the tribe of Gad,
6 12,000 from the tribe of Asher,
12,000 from the tribe of Naphtali,
12,000 from the tribe of Manasseh,
7 12,000 from the tribe of Simeon,
12,000 from the tribe of Levi,
12,000 from the tribe
8 12,000 from the tribe of Zebulun,
12,000 from the tribe of Joseph,
12,000 from the tribe of Benjamin were sealed.
John’s vision depicts God placing a protective seal on His people and thus marking them as those who will be delivered from the great final conflagration. Given the signs that daily surround us, God could release the devastating
winds of His judgment at any moment. Yet God holds back now because He is “patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2Pt 3:9).
I pray: Lord, help us to order our days in wisdom so that we are found faithful when You call us to appear before You. For Christ’s sake, forgive our sins and move us to perseverance in good works. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 2211.