“Where is the Calm in the Storms of Life?”
Revelation 7:1-17; 14:1-5
Trivia: Which is the biggest, strongest storm or all time?
A. Hurricane Camille. (1969 USA, 899 mb, 175 mph, 259 deaths, 9.9 billion)
B. Typhoon Tip. (1979 Philippines, 190 mph, 870 mb, 170 deaths including 13 US Marines)
C. Hurricane Patricia. (1979 Western Mexico, 215 mph, 872 mb, 1 death)
D. Hurricane Allen. (1980 USA, 190 mph, 899 mb, 269 deaths)
Where do we find “calm” in the storms of life? In today’s sermon we will discover that before, during, and after the storm God is ready and able to provide calm.
A. Calm before the storm.
Revelation 7:1-3,Then I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds so they did not blow on the earth or the sea, or even on any tree. 2 And I saw another angel coming up from the east, carrying the seal of the living God. And he shouted to those four angels, who had been given power to harm land and sea, 3 “Wait! Don’t harm the land or the sea or the trees until we have placed the seal of God on the foreheads of his servants.”
B. Calm through the storm.
7:4-8, And I heard how many were marked with the seal of God—144,000 were
sealed from all the tribes of Israel:
5 from Judah — 12,000 from Reuben — 12,000 from Gad — 12,000
6 from Asher — 12,000 from Naphtali — 12,000 from Manasseh — 12,000
7 from Simeon — 12,000 from Levi — 12,000 from Issachar — 12,000
8 from Zebulun — 12,000 from Joseph — 12,000 from Benjamin — 12,000
Is this number exactly 12,000 from each tribe totaling exactly 144,000. I can answer with a definite MAYBE!
“Dan” and “Ephraim” are missing! These two tribes were famous for being polluted by idolatry. “Levi” and “Joseph” are in their place.
All Christians are “sealed”: Ephesians 1:13-14,In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
But, not “marked on the forehead”: Revelation 9:4,They (the stinging locusts) were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any green plant or any tree, but only those people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.
Unless you see this mark in the same way it’s described in Deuteronomy 6:8, “Tie these commands to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders.” This is from the most important passage in the Old Testament … so maybe these 144,000 represent all of God’s people who follow His commands?
The point is that in the Tribulation to come, God does give some call through the storm.
Revelation 14:1-5,Then I saw the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him were 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.
2 And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of mighty ocean waves or the rolling of loud thunder. It was like the sound of many harpists playing together.
3 This great choir sang a wonderful new song in front of the throne of God and before the four living beings and the twenty-four elders. No one could learn this song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth.
4 They have kept themselves as pure as virgins, following the Lamb wherever he goes. They have been purchased from among the people on the earth as a special offering to God and to the Lamb.
5 They have told no lies; they are without blame.
Personal Point: I expect to be “unmarked” should I experience the Tribulation. I am “sealed” by the Holy Spirit, but “unmarked.”
- Not marked as one of the 144,000.
- Not marked by the beast (“666”) [See, Revelation 13:16-18]
- Wait, maybe I am marked …
- Revelation 3:12, “The one who conquers … and I will write on him the name of my God.”
- Revelation 22:4, “They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.”
Bottom Line: We don’t KNOW who these 144,000 are or if we are among them.
C. Calm after the storm.
1. God works through storms anywhere and everywhere.
7:9-12,After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every
nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and
before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in
10 And they were shouting with a mighty shout, “Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!”
11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living beings. And they fell before the throne with their faces to the ground and worshiped God.
12 They sang, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength belong to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
2. God brings us through life’s storms by the blood of the Lamb.
Revelation 7:13-14, Then one of the twenty-four elders asked me, “Who are these who are clothed in white? Where did they come from?” 14 And I said to him, “Sir, you are the one who knows.” Then he said to me, “These are the ones who died (“came out of” “their origin was”) in the great tribulation. They have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and made them white.
3. God brings us through to an eternal calm.
Revelation 7:15-17, “That is why they stand in front of God’s throne and serve him day and night in his Temple. And he who sits on the throne will give them shelter. 16 They will never again be hungry or thirsty; they will never be scorched by the heat of the sun. 17 For the Lamb on the throne will be their Shepherd. He will lead them to springs of life-giving water. And God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”
MAIN POINT: The “calm in the storm” comes from our faith in Jesus.
A closing prayer, “Dear God, we want to experience Your calm, Your peace, and Your wholeness. Storms rage. Sometimes we feel engulfed. Yet, we call upon the name of ‘Jesus’ to bring us calm … before, during, and after the storm. Amen.”