Microchips are being installed in workers’ hands in Wisconsin. A total solar eclipse will darken large portions of the United States on August 21, 2017. Nuclear war with North Korea is a constant threat at the moment. Is it any wonder that many Christians find themselves thinking about the End Time events recorded in the book of Revelation? We don’t understand much of what we read there, but the implanting of microchips into human hands certainly grasped our attention since the chips are being used to make purchases in the business’ vending machines. My mind went to the prophecies of Revelation as I was reading in the book of Exodus this week as well. It wasn’t the Mark of the Beast that I began to think of though. It was the other “mark” referred to in Revelation – The Seal of God.
In Exodus 13, Moses speaks to the people about how the Feast of the Passover will be celebrated in the years to come. Here’s the verse that caught my attention: “So it shall serve as a sign to you on your hand and as phylacteries on your forehead, for with a powerful hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt.” (Exodus 13:16, NASB) The image of having a sign — a marking, if you will — on the hand and the forehead immediately made me think of the similar images in Revelation. But the word “phylacteries” really got my attention. What are these phylacteries?
The term in the Hebrew is zikrown (Strong’s Concordance) and means “memorial, reminder, or remembrance.” According to the Pulpit Commentary, phylacteries are strips of paper that contain written Scriptures. These pieces of paper are placed in small boxes that are secured by leather straps and are either worn on the left arm or across the forehead. Over time, phylacteries came to be worn by Jewish men during times of prayer.
In my mind, wearing these reminders helped the newly-released Israelites to recognize that they have been “signed, sealed, and delivered!” Likewise, I think the seal of God found in Revelation will have a similar impact. What greater sense of being signed can there be than to have the very Words of God covering you — physically and spiritually. Scripture is the Father’s letter to humanity and, as believers, we can claim every promise that the Word contains. We have a Heavenly signed check!
The Israelites were sealed. Think about a sealed envelope containing a carefully crafted — and signed — letter. Once the envelope is sealed, the contents are settled. They cannot be amended. In Biblical times, a King would also affix his seal to the envelope, confirming His authorship and agreement to the letter’s contents. In a spiritual sense, the phylacteries on the hand and forehead would remind the Israelites that they were under the Lordship of Jehovah and that their future was secure. We have the same promise! As we bow to His Lordship, God assures us that our future is secure — despite what we may currently see around us.
Lastly, the physical seal would remind the Israelites that they had been delivered. That’s what Passover was all about — a reminder of how God brought them out of Egyptian bondage with a mighty hand. Since God had already delivered them….and since their future was sealed…..it was also certain that God would continue to deliver them from future oppression. What a great hope! For the Child of God, we have been delivered from sin….and since we have been sealed, our future is also secure. Our destination is Heaven — our Promised Land — and God will continue to deliver us from trouble and offer protection until He finally brings His people home to their eternal reward.
No matter what may happen in the world around us, we can look up with confidence and hope……because we too have been signed, sealed, and delivered!