Reflection for Today ▶️ ⏩ ⏹️
a lamb, having seven horns and seven eyes, Rev 5:6, lino print, by Tobias Mayer, 2023
And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.
— Revelation 5:6-7
No man, in heaven or earth, living or dead, can open the sealed scroll to reveal the future. John weeps at the unworthiness of man, sensing the future will forever be hidden. But looking to man is the wrong focus, and John learns he is to look to the beasts for the revelation he seeks, and specifically to the youngest and softest of beasts, to the gentle lamb. We commonly seek leadership and guidance from those perceived as tough, strong, mighty, those capable of waging war on our enemies, putting them in their place, making us—God's people as we often claim—victorious. We get exactly what we seek of course, violent leadership, and then we wonder why we are suffering pain, poverty, loss of life. John here is advised to look not to man, but to beast, seeking not command and logic but surrender and intuition. Before anything new can be revealed we must first be willing to discard all that we think we know, to open our minds and hearts to new possibilities, however unfamiliar, however illogical.
The lamb is revealed, the gentlest of beasts, yes, but this lamb is more, once slain and survived, and having seven horns and seven eyes this is both real animal and mystical, mythical creature. The number seven is repeated frequently throughout the book of Revelation, and seems to be considered the number of wholeness or completion: seven days of creation, seven ages of man, cycles of seven days for each personal sabbath, seven years for each land sabbath, and seven times seven years for each jubilee.1 Our lamb has seven horns, indicating omnipotence, and seven eyes indicating omniscience. The lamb is a survivor who in surviving has achieved great personal power and insight. The traditional Christian attitude to this is that Jesus, the lamb, suffered on our behalf so we don't have to. I rather believe though that each of us must go through our own trials and come out new in order to walk with the angels, as equal. Each of us can be this lamb, each can step forward to receive revelation. Not all will have the courage.