Revelation 7:9-17: ‘They will see his face…’’
“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 before 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.’
11 All the angels were standing round the throne and round the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, 12 saying:
Praise and glory
and wisdom and thanks and honour
and power and strength
be to our God for ever and ever.
13 Then one of the elders asked me, ‘These in white robes – who are they, and where did they come from?’
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. 15 Therefore,
‘they are before the throne of God
and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne
will shelter them with his presence.
16 “Never again will they hunger;
never again will they thirst.
The sun will not beat down on them,”
nor any scorching heat.
17 For the Lamb at the centre of the throne
will be their shepherd;
“he will lead them to springs of living water.”
“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
Here are two further heavenly blessings – the second being the greatest one of all:
- The blessing of total satisfaction: ‘’Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst…he will lead them to springs of living water’’ (16a, 17b). Every longing will be satisfied. They will be fulfilled.
- The blessing of seeing God: ‘’…they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple…’’ (15a). We can compare this with verse 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 throne and in front of the Lamb.’’ The supreme blessing of heaven may be summed up in these words: ‘’They will see his face…’’ (22:4). We read in 7:15 that they serve God ‘’in his temple’’. Here, the temple doesn’t refer to a building but to God’s presence. ‘Thus, in this vision, the promise written in the Old Testament that God will dwell in the midst of His people has now come to pass (Ezekiel 37:27; Zechariah 2:10)…To live in heaven with God and Christ in this way is our reward.’ Tom Hale: ‘The Applied New Testament Commentary’, p.975.