This question is asked by one of the elders regarding the great multitude that no one could count (v. 9). The writer wants his readers to be aware that the path ahead is difficult, and for many will result in martyrdom. The writer also wants his readers to know that they are not walking this path alone.
Remember Elijah and his despair following the victory over Baal’s prophets? He’d just experienced an incredible display of God’s power, but one that reinvigorated Jezebel’s murderous hatred for him. He was on the run, beyond burnout, and needed encouragement. He railed against God: I have been very zealous for [you] . . . I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too (1 Kings 19:10). In other words, why have you left me all alone? But God informed Elijah there were 7,000 others who remained faithful. Elijah was by no means alone.
Likewise, God’s faithful under siege from Rome need some assurance too. It’s tough enough to ask someone to suffer martyrdom, but it’s even more difficult if that person thinks he (or she) is the only one making the supreme sacrifice. The writer here encourages Believers: Stay strong. There are more faithful than you can count, and they come from all nations, tribes, peoples and languages. You are not alone.
The next time someone whispers in your ear, Everyone else is doing it…
TODAY’S MEDITATIONPray for strength to be faithful in tough times, even if it seems you’re all alone. Consider that you have brothers and sisters who are also holding true.