Before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language. Revelation 7:9
We came together for our Sunday morning church service with joy and anticipation. Although we were spatially distanced because of the coronavirus pandemic, we welcomed the opportunity to celebrate Gavin and Tijana’s wedding. Our technologically gifted Iranian friends broadcast the service to friends and family spread out geographically—including in Spain, Poland, and Serbia. This creative approach helped us overcome the constraints as we rejoiced in the covenant of marriage. God’s Spirit united us and gave us joy.
That Sunday morning with our wonderfully multinational congregation was a small taste of the glory to come when people from “every nation, tribe, people and language” will stand before God in heaven (Revelation 7:9). The beloved disciple John glimpsed this “great multitude” in a vision he recounts in the book of Revelation. There those gathered will worship God together along with the angels and elders: “Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever” (v. 12).
The union and marriage of Jesus and His international bride in the “wedding supper of the Lamb” (19:9) will be an amazing time of worship and celebration. Our experience at our Sunday church service with people from many nations points to this celebration that one day we’ll enjoy.
While we wait in hope for that joyful event, we can embrace the practice of feasting and rejoicing among God’s people.
How do you picture the wedding supper of the Lamb? How does being invited to this celebration affect your daily life?
Lamb of God, thank You for the invitation to the heavenly wedding.
It’s interesting to note some differences in the description of the two crowds in Revelation 7. John heard of the first group (v. 4), while he saw the second (v. 9). The first group was numbered at 144,000 (v. 4); the second group “no one could count” (v. 9). The first crowd was of a single nationality (the tribes of Israel, vv. 4–8); the second was “from every nation” (v. 9). Bible scholar Craig Keener suggests that “the first vision portrays symbolically God’s end-time spiritual army, then this second vision is a more literal interpretation of the first” (Revelation, NIV Application Commentary). According to this view, God’s army is victorious over their enemies by dying a martyr’s death rather than by killing their enemies (see 11:7–13; 12:11; 13:7; 15:2; 21:7). Keener goes on to note that “in this, we are like our Lord.”