God Will Make A Way
Dr Alex Tang
God will make a way
Text: Rev. 7:1-10
God has chosen us and whatever the trouble we face now, we will one day stand before him in heaven safe and sound
Text: Rev. 7:1-10
REV 7:1 After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree. 2 Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: 3 "Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God." 4 Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel. REV 7:5 From the tribe of Judah 12,000 were sealed, from the tribe of Reuben 12,000, from the tribe of Gad 12,000, REV 7:6 from the tribe of Asher 12,000, from the tribe of Naphtali 12,000, from the tribe of Manasseh 12,000, REV 7:7 from the tribe of Simeon 12,000, from the tribe of Levi 12,000, from the tribe of Issachar 12,000, REV 7:8 from the tribe of Zebulun 12,000, from the tribe of Joseph 12,000, from the tribe of Benjamin 12,000. REV 7:9 After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice: "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb."
We are living in difficult times and it looks next year will be worst
-Petrol price increasing and increase in prices of all essential goods
-Financial meltdown all over the world
-Bank guaranteed. Otherwise lose your savings
Slaughter and blood shed
-The war in Iraq and Afghanistan
-The war in Southern Philippines
-Political instability in Thailand; Bangkok and southern Thailand
-Persecution of Christians in Orissa, India
-Political instability in Malaysia
-Famine in Africa
-Natural disasters; tsunami, earthquakes
-Man-made- Melamine poisoning in China
1.1. The background of Rev 6 and 7 Chapter 7 come a parenthesis between the sixth and seventh seal. “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse”
1st seal: white horseman with bow and crown: conquest
2nd seal: red horseman with large sword: slaughter and bloodshed
3rd seal: black horseman with a pair of scales: famine
4th seal: pale horseman: Death
5th seal: altar in heaven-souls of martyr
6th seal: great earthquake 7th seal: dramatic pause
2. Exposition of the text
John was taken up to heaven.
2.1. What did John hear? v.4a 4 Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.
2.1.1. Who are they? The tribes of Israel?
(Gen 35:22) Jacob had twelve sons: 23 The sons of Leah: Reuben the firstborn of Jacob, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun. 24 The sons of Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin. 25 The sons of Rachel’s maidservant Bilhah: Dan and Naphtali. 26 The sons of Leah’s maidservant Zilpah: Gad and Asher. These were the sons of Jacob, who were born to him in Paddan Aram.
2.1.2. On earth
Could they have been the chosen ones of God on earth, not just the Jews?
2.1.3. Lists There are various lists of the tribes in the O.T. Genesis 35:22; Genesis 46:8; Exodus 1:1; Numbers 1:2; Numbers 13:4; Numbers 26:34; Deuteronomy 27:11; Deuteronomy 33:6 Jos 13-22; Jud 5; 1Ch 2-8; 1 Chronicles 12:24; 1 Chronicles 27:16; Eze 48) and given in various orders. In 1 Chronicles 7:12 both Dan and Zebulon are omitted. Joseph is given here in place of Ephraim.
2.1.4. Comparison of lists and Revelation 7 list Gen. 35:22
Judah Reuben Gad Asher Naphtali Simeon Levi Issachar Zebulun Joseph Benjamin Dan
Revelation 7 Tribes Judah Rueben Gad Asher Naphtali Manassah Simeon Levi Issachar Zebulun Joseph Benjamin
2.1.5. The 144,000 is the spiritual Israel.
a) 144,000 = 12 x 12x 1000
b) Eleven sons and one grandson
c) Judah is mentioned first, Rueben is first born
d) Dan is missing
e) Each tribe number 12,000 exactly 2.1.5.e.1. tribes varies in size
2.1.5.e.2. ten tribes were almost wiped out by the Babylonians (sixth century)
2.1.5.e.3. Jews are usually descendent of Judah and some from Levi
2.1.5.e.4. No one can demonstrate true biological descend from any tribe
f) Spiritual Israel
2.2. What did John see?
v. 9 After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.
2.2.1. Who are they?
b) in heaven
c) white robes
REV 7:14 I answered, "Sir, you know." And he said, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. In the Book of Revelation, white robes are symbols of blessedness and purity.
d) palm branches
Palm branches are used twice in the New Testament. John 12:13 when a great crowd welcome Jesus into Jerusalem The earthly crowd shouted, The heavenly crowd shouts, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the King of Israel!” "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb."
2.3. What is the link between the two crowds?
v.5-8 From the tribe of Judah 12,000 were sealed, from the tribe of Reuben 12,000, from the tribe of Gad 12,000, REV 7:6 from the tribe of Asher 12,000, from the tribe of Naphtali 12,000, from the tribe of Manasseh 12,000, REV 7:7 from the tribe of Simeon 12,000, from the tribe of Levi 12,000, from the tribe of Issachar 12,000, REV 7:8 from the tribe of Zebulun 12,000, from the tribe of Joseph 12,000, from the tribe of Benjamin 12,000.
2.3.1. The names are the key
a) Judah “I will praise the Lord’ Of Judah’s personal character more traits are preserved than of any other of the patriarchs, with the exception of Joseph, whose life he in conjunction with Reuben saved. (Genesis 37:26-28) During the second visit to Egypt for corn it was Judah who understood to be responsible for the safety of Benjamin, ch. (Genesis 43:3-10) and when, through Joseph’s artifice, the brothers were brought back to the palace, he is again the leader and spokesman of the band. So too it is Judah who is sent before Jacob to smooth the way for him in the land of Goshen. ch. (Genesis 46:28) This ascendancy over his brethren is reflected in the last words addressed to him by his father. The families of Judah occupy a position among the tribes similar to that which their progenitor had taken among the patriarchs.
b) Reuben “He has looked on me” Jacob’s firstborn (Genesis 29:32) the son of Leah. (B.C. 1753.) To him and him alone the preservation of Joseph’s life appears to have been due and afterward he becomes responsible for his safety. (Genesis 37:18-30; 42:37) Of the repulsive crime which mars his history, and which turned the blessing of his dying father into a curse --his adulterous connection with Bilhah-- we know from the Scriptures only the fact. (Genesis 35:22) He was of an ardent, impetuous, unbalanced but not ungenerous nature; not crafty and cruel, as were Simeon and Levi, but rather, to use the metaphor of the dying patriarch, boiling up like a vessel of water over a rapid wood fire, and as quickly subsiding when the fuel was withdrawn.
c) Gad “granted good fortune”
d) Asher “happy am I” Jacob's eighth son; his mother was Zilpah, Leah's handmaid (Genesis 30:13). Of the tribe founded by him nothing is recorded beyond its holding a place in the list of the tribes (35:26; 46:17; Exodus 1:4, etc.) Asher and Simeon were the only tribes west of the Jordan which furnished no hero or judge for the nation. Anna the prophetess was of this tribe (Luke 2:36).
e) Naphtali “my wrestling” my wrestling, the fifth son of Jacob. His mother was Bilhah, Rachel's handmaid (Genesis 30:8). When Jacob went down into Egypt, Naphtali had four sons (Genesis 46:24). Little is known of him as an individual.
f) Manasseh “making me forget” The elder of the two sons of Joseph. He and his brother Ephraim were afterwards adopted by Jacob as his own sons (48:1).
g) Simeon “God hears me” The second son of Jacob by Leah (Genesis 29:33). He was associated with Levi in the terrible act of vengeance against Hamor and the Shechemites (34:25,26). He was detained by Joseph in Egypt as a hostage (42:24). His father, when dying, pronounced a malediction against him (49:5-7). The words in the Authorized Version (49:6), "they digged down a wall," ought to be, as correctly rendered in the Revised Version, "they houghed an ox."
h) Levi “joined to me” The third son of Jacob by Leah. The origin of the name is found in Leah's words (Genesis 29:34), "This time will my husband be joined [Heb. yillaveh] unto me." He is mentioned as taking a prominent part in avenging his sister Dinah (Genesis 34:25-31). He and his three sons went down with Jacob (46:11) into Egypt, where he died at the age of one hundred and thirty-seven years (Exodus 6:16).
i) Issachar ‘purchased me” "God hath given me," said Leah, "my hire (Heb. sekhari)...and she called his name Issachar." He was Jacob's ninth son, and was born in Padan-aram (comp 28:2). He had four sons at the going down into Egypt (46:13; Numbers 26:23,25).
j) Zebulun “dwelling” dwelling, the sixth and youngest son of Jacob and Leah (Genesis 30:20). Little is known of his personal history. He had three sons (46:14).
k) Joseph “God will add to me” The elder of the two sons of Jacob by Rachel (Genesis 30:23,24), who, on the occasion of his birth, said, "God hath taken away [Heb. 'asaph] my reproach." "The Lord shall add [Heb. yoseph] to me another son" (Genesis 30:24). He was a child of probably six years of age when his father returned from Haran to Canaan and took up his residence in the old patriarchal town of Hebron. "Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age," and he "made him a long garment with sleeves" (Genesis 37:3), i.e., a patchwork of many small pieces of divers colours.
l) Benjamin “Son of his right hand” The younger son of Jacob by Rachel (Genesis 35:18). His birth took place at Ephrath, on the road between Bethel and Bethlehem, at a short distance from the latter place. His mother died in giving him birth, and with her last breath named him Ben-oni, son of my pain, a name which was changed by his father into Benjamin. His posterity are called Benjamites (Genesis 49:27; Deuteronomy 33:12; Joshua 18:21).
1. Judah= "I will praise the Lord"
2. Reuben= "He has looked on me"
3. Gad= "Granted good fortune"
4. Asher= "Happy am I"
5. Naphtali= "My wrestling"
6. Manasseh= "Making me forget"
7. Simeon= "God hears me"
8. Levi= "Joined to me"
9. Issachar= "Purchased Me"
10. Zebulun= "Dwelling"
11. Joseph= "God will add to me"
12. Benjamin= "Son of His right hand"
Now notice what happens when the meanings of the names are combined, in the same order, into a paragraph:
"I will praise the Lord because He has looked on me and granted good fortune. Happy am I because my wrestling with God is making me forget my past troubles. God hears me and is joined to me and has purchased me a dwelling. God will add to me the Son of His right hand." (The words in italics are supplied to complete each thought.)
3. Lessons for us
3.1. God chooses us from the beginning. We are the chosen.
3.2. God’s plan of salvation is THE plan, not a plan B
3.3. No one chosen by God is lost
3.4. Expect tribulations in this life
3.5. Expect to come out tribulation victorious
3.6. Praise God that you have been redeemed
]posted 20 October 2008|
"making disciples of Jesus Christ with informed minds, hearts on fire and contemplative in actions"
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