The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), December 30
Seven is the number of perfection, and the Book of the Revelation contains seven blessings:
“‘Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near” (Rev. 1:3). Man’s reading, hearing, and keeping the Word of God endear the heart of God to him.
“‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ‘Yes,’ says the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them’” (14:13). Rest comes to those who die in the Lord. All that they did “in the Lord” will be rewarded.
“Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame” (16:15). Watchfulness and self-restraint characterize those who follow Christ. They live with the awareness that His coming is imminent.
“Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ (19:9). Since the Fall God has determined to possess a people for Himself. That day will arrive, when they will be joined for all eternity.
“Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years” (20:6). Resurrection and reigning follow death. Therefore, death should not be feared.
“Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book” (22:7). Christ’s followers live in the light of the fulfillment of the prophecies found in Revelation.
“Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city” (22:14). Obedience characterize the lives of Christ-followers.
The world blessing today has been watered down to mean the possession of costly things and enriching relationships. The Bible’s use of the word blessing, however, always refers to spiritual vitality and to spiritual reality.
The word blessing means to possess the favor of God, that state of being marked by God’s fullness. Those who are blessed are those who bear God’s favor and contain God’s fullness. Revelation connects this blessing to Bible literacy, with death, with watchfulness in life, with those called to the marriage supper of the Lamb, with the hope of resurrection and reign with Christ for one thousand years, and with obedience.
Blessing is the state of divine favor to which man responds. Its impartation has a correlation with man’s activity–his obedience. The seven blessings in the Revelation are based on relationship which God initiates and to which man responds.
Questions for today’s chronological Bible reading (Rev. 15:1-18:24):
How do the people respond to the intense heat of the fourth bowl and the darkness of the fifth bowl? What does this reveal about people?
What warning is given between the sixth and final bowl, and to whom is the warning given?
How is the great city of Babylon described, and why is her downfall mourned?