REFLECTIONS ON THE BOOK OF REVELATION....
Listen: David Crowder Band, "Come Thou Fount"
Remember that old commercial for a plastic wrap product that demonstrated the strength of its seal around the bowl by flipping over the container with the contents held safely in place? Of course the competitor's wrap failed and all the contents spilled out.
The seal in this case is the strength of the plastic wrap to protect the contents from being lost or wasted. The terrible destruction of the space shuttle Challenger in 1986 was due to the failure of an O-Ring seal. Seals not only protect, but they are used to indicate authority, security, ownership and describe the significant traits to which the seal pertains. We are used to seeing seals made with wax, upon which a stamp or ring bearing the owner's insignia "seals" the document, proving its authenticity. It is interesting to note that the Roman authorities placed a seal on Jesus' tomb (Matt. 27.66). Most likely a seal of clay bearing the imperial insignia, the seal indicates Rome's investment in keeping Jesus' body from being stolen and their complicity in Jesus' death. Jesus' resurrection proves God's victory and dominion over all other authority -- earthly or spiritual.
Revelation describes people being given the seal of the living God. Ephesians 1:13 describes this seal as "the promised Holy Spirit." Scripture is clear that God's seal on our lives does not protect us from trials and hurts in life. However the seal of the Living God preserves us unto eternal life and guides us to life in the spirit of Jesus. We are stamped by the Holy Spirit - which shows that we belong to God. Baptism is one of the signs of receiving God's seal in our lives. Our desire to follow Jesus and to incorporate his teachings in our lives also acts as a seal. As we live the teachings of Jesus, we become living, walking, talking seals that God imprints on the hearts and minds of others. As we mature in faith, we become God's seals representing the dominion of the Holy One throughout the earth.
God's seal may not protect us from the curve balls of life. However, like that fancy plastic wrap, when life upends us, God's sea, in the eternal perspective of God, keeps us from loosing it all. God's seal has the power to "make all things work together for the good, (Romans 8:28)." So even when we feel tossed about or life falls apart on us, the inferior seals of the world cannot hold us down. The seal of the Living God will lead us to healing, greater integration and deeper insight. We are sealed by God, so let us be conscious that we belong to God, God's hand is upon us and leading us to stamp the world with kindness, righteousness, justice, reconciliation and peace.
How have you felt God's seal in your life? How is God using you as God's seal to heal, restore and protect the world?
Prayer: " God of the Living Seal, imprint upon us your love and imprint us upon your world."