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. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” 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. 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 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. For the Lamb at the center 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.” (Revelation 7:9–10, 14-17, NIV 1984).
My Musings – Queue. The word itself is ironic. It is just a “Q” with a bunch of silent letters waiting in a line for their turn to be heard, but never will be. I read something like this on the internet. I thought of another irony. No one who has ever waited in a long line waiting their turn ever remained silent. More likely, a lot of complaining and grumbling.
Take for instance, “the wait from this point in 45 minutes.” Something you’ve probably experienced at your favorite amusement park. Usually as the “sun beat upon [you]” in the “scorching heat.” Or what I call the law of the grocery checkout. No matter which line you choose, it will always be the slowest. The person ahead diligently fumbling for the correct change. “I know I have a coupon here somewhere.” The person with the credit card that keeps getting rejected. The inevitable price check. You get the picture. It’s a familiar one but not a pretty one.
But there is another picture. “A great multitude [queue] that no one could count.” Those who rejected Christ during the age of grace, enduring who knows what kind of horrors during the Great Tribulation as God poured out His wrath. Finally, getting their chance to be heard — “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”
It was God’s wrath with a purpose. He always has a purpose. Another seven years for the rejectors to accept His grace. And as the text says, countless many will. Worth the wait. Certainly. But a wait that was unnecessary. They could have gone through the express lane all along.
My Advice – Do not count on being among the Great Multitude. You might not make it until then. Even if you did, why wait? Why risk it? Why endure such “great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again?” (Matthew 24:21. NIV 1984). Why indeed? “I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2, NIV 1984). Respond to His grace, not His wrath.