Practice Run

Revelation 7:15–16 “…and He who sits on the throne will spread His tent over them. Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them nor any scorching heat.”

Observation: Rev. 7 movingly focuses on God’s ability to redeem and protect those who are His. In John‘s first vision, he sees an angel come to earth with God’s seal to be affixed to the heads of 144,000, signifying their salvation (v. 3). These would be protected from further destruction yet to come. John’s second vision was of the throne where the Lamb is surrounded by the multitude that had “come out of the great tribulation” (v. 14). They worship the Lamb through whose salvation they had gained admittance to heaven; in turn; He spreads His tent over them, protecting them from further want.

Application: “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb” (v. 10). This is the multitude’s cry, and He responds by spreading His tent over them.

What a singularly powerful moment! It evokes memories from Leviticus 26:11 where God first established His tabernacle among men, reminding them of His salvation from Egypt’s bondage and promising His eternal presence in their lives. Now, in Revelation, God renews His promise of covering, picturing again not just His rescue from temporal oppression but His eternal watchcare, as well.

God’s Book repeatedly expresses the idea of covering in its numerous calls for submission: one to another, wives to husbands, slaves to masters, children to parents, and everyone to leaders, governing authorities and to God. Within each such submission is the idea of covering. Just as Ruth lay at Boaz’s feet on the threshing floor and covered herself with his blanket, so we who willingly humble ourselves come under the covering of the Lamb of God. It is in that place of perfect protection that all He has becomes ours.

I ought to suspect that such a frequent theme of Scripture as covering may be more easily talked about than achieved. It is one thing to give intellectual assent to the vast benefits of willingly placing myself under another’s covering, but my tendency is to always have an end point in mind. “I will submit to you if you treat me as I feel I deserve.” The first truth I must admit is that reserved rights reflect submission withheld. Then this: if I withhold full submission to authorities I can see and touch, how can I ever know that my submission to Christ is complete?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, my greatest desire is to come fully under Your covering. Cause me to honestly consider the fullness of my submission to those You have set over me. I accept the most difficult of these as mere tests, practice runs in Your process of conforming me fully to Christ’s image.


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