Open my heart, Lord, to what You want to convey to me through Your marvelous Word.
"...Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads." And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed." (Revelation 7:3-4)
Revelation chapter seven is God's parenthesis between the opening of the sixth and seventh seals. We pause here to marvel at the results of the world's greatest revival meeting and to contemplate the specially-selected evangelists God will use to bring about this immeasurable in-gathering of souls.
God has a purpose for the sons of Jacob that will be fulfilled in the Great Tribulation. He's going to put His protection and authority on a select group of 144,000 Jews who will know Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour and will go out to evangelize the world.
This is very likely a literal number of people, but there is deep symbolism to this 144,000 as well. Remember that four in the Bible is the earth number, and three is the divine number. Multiply the divine number and the earth number and you get twelve, which stands for the rule of God on earth. God intensifies this principle here by using 144, which is twelve times twelve. He does so even further by bringing in the thousand, which is ten, the complete number, times ten - or completeness multiplied! So, 144,000 signifies the rule of God in fullness and power. God is going to move in a mighty way during the Great Tribulation through this select group of Jews who will be set apart with His seal.
The seal is a mark of possession and preservation. The antichrist will not be able to harm God's elect, who have been saved and sealed in order to serve. Just imagine what 144,000 untouchable apostle Pauls would do as they went all over this world preaching the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ! The greatest evangelistic harvest the world has ever seen is going to come from these unquenchable 144,000 proclaiming Christ during the Tribulation period.