9:4 PROTECTED BY THE SEAL
“And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree; but only those men who do not have the seal of God in their foreheads" (Revelation 9:4). There is only one other verse in the Bible that mentions the seal of God on the forehead: “And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God; and he cried with a loud voice…saying, ‘hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.' And I heard the number of those which were sealed: and there were sealed 144,000 of all the tribes of the children of
A mark that protects them from the destructive plagues that fall upon those around them is reminiscent of the experience of the children of Israel during the plagues of
But God wanted to accomplish more than just free His people. He wanted the Egyptians to know about Him—“that you [Pharaoh and the Egyptians] may know that I am the Lord in the midst of the Land” (Exodus 8:22). He wanted them to know that He was above their nature gods—“that you may know that the earth is the Lord’s” (Exodus 9:29). He wanted the rest of the world to know about Him—“that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth” (Exodus 9:16). He accomplished this by protecting His people in the midst of the plagues—“I will set apart the
The children of
Because of the seal in their foreheads God’s people will be proteted from the plagues. This protection is not simply to spare God’s people from pain, but it is designed to be a witness to the people of the whole world, a part of God’s last great effort to bring them to repentance. As it was in
 “For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment…Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you” (Exodus 12:12).