Revelation 7:9 (ESV): 9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,
This chapter begins with 4 angels purposefully stalling God’s judgment upon the earth so that 144,000 could be given God’s seal on their foreheads.
There is a list of twelve tribes from which 12,000 each are sealed. But these tribes do not match the listing of tribes in the Old Testament, neither the actual 12 sons of Jacob nor the 12 tribes as laid out under Moses with Joseph’s two sons as tribes and Levi not listed. Instead, in this list, neither Dan nor Ephraim are listed, but Levi is.
Immediately after this listing, we find the highlighted verse which talks about a great number from every nation.
Whether the 144,000 are purely symbolic, and whether they represent only Jews sealed by God or Gentiles also can be debated.
But verse 14 makes it clear that this great multitude of Christ followers comes from the great tribulation.
Going from an area where the population is less than one hundred thousand to an area populated by a couple million people, it is easy to experience feelings of being swallowed up by one’s surroundings.
As followers of Jesus, we may also feel overwhelmed by the world’s opposition or mere indifference to the kingdom of God. But John’s revelation assures us that if we remain faithful, we will one day worship the Lamb with an innumerable crowd, shouting the praises of our King.
Heavenly Father, may I live faithfully for you, no matter how the world may respond, so that I may worship you with the Church Triumphant for eternity. Amen.