seventeen sevens

From John to the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace be yours from God, who is, who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits in front of his throne [Revelation 1:4 GNT]

Seven churches. Seven spirits. These are the first expressions of seven in Revelation. Other sevens will follow. Seven candlesticks, stars, lamps, seals. The list goes on to include, in total, seventeen sevens. It causes me to wonder why so many sevens pop up in the book.

In Genesis the Lord is reported to complete creation in seven days. Perhaps the number is a sign of completeness or fullness. That said, I am not wont to chase numerological rabbit trails. My point is that perhaps, as much of the book is symbolic, we might view sevens in this way.

Given that, I think that John's message is not merely for a small number of congregations in Asia but to the church universal. And when we read of seven spirits we can envision the fullness of God. Complete from beginning to end. Past, present and future. The holy trinity.

Today Lord, help us to receive the grace and the peace that you offer to us.

... this devotion is part of a series from the book of Revelation.

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