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. 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.
‘Never again will they hunger;
never again will they thirst.
The sun will not beat down on 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 is symbolic of truth in God’s final judgment and salvation. In the New Testament we’re in the last days, so something of much of Revelation could be present, as well as telling us the forever ending.
So those who have come out of the great tribulation could especially mean those who have suffered for their faith and witness. In a certain sense it might include all of us who name the name of Christ and by faith remain among the faithful.
The thought of the Lamb being our shepherd is touching, and that this shepherding will be forever, wonderful. We are sheep forever, redeemed, made perfect in a sense, yet still sheep in need of the Good Shepherd.
What is especially moving to me is the thought that God will wipe away every tear from our eyes. There is so much in this life to be sorry and sorrowful about. There’s no end. Day after day, year after year, decade after decade, a lifetime of such. That God will wipe away all tears is the way this promise and blessing ends. Somehow there will be a resolution to everything. All in God’s good wisdom and will. To unfold in time in and through Jesus.