Summary of passage: John saw 4 angels holding back the 4 winds of the earth from the 4 corners of the earth. Another angel with the seal of the living God told the 4 angels to not harm the land until a seal is placed on the foreheads of God’s servants.
3) Holding back the 4 winds of the earth to prevent disasters
4a) The destructive force of God’s judgment (Hosea 13:15 is another example).
b) He is marking all His people before judgment descends. He is protecting them, saving them from destruction. A secondary meaning may be God is giving His people more time to come to Him and repent and be saved, “not wanting anyone to perish” (2 Peter 3:9). He is full of grace, mercy, compassion, patience, and love.
c) Personal Question. My answer: By allowing me to live both earthly and eternally. By choosing me in the first place to belong to Him. God’s mercy is hard to describe.
Conclusions: 4c is weak in asking “how”. Makes it broad. “Why” would have been more fitting for this passage and the book of Revelation as a whole. Rest of the questions dissects passage well.
End Notes: In chapter 6, Jesus is revealing impending judgments upon the world with the breaking of the seals. Here, in chapter 7, God sends an angel to first seal His people, a pause if you will, before judgments begin (Rev 9:4).
The 4 corners of the earth correspond to the 4 points on a compass, meaning being the entire earth, all of creation. The 4 living creatures represent all of creation.
Some scholars say the 4 winds refers directly back to the 4 horsemen in Revelation 6 since “spirits” is the same Hebrew word as “winds” in Zechariah 6:1-8.
Another angel sealed the people of God. Seals were common in the ancient world. They were used by emperors and other people’s of import to seal communications by placing a special mark in the damp clay which authenticated and protected its contents. They were also used by property owners to show ownership and seals on packages to show possession. The best analogy is like branding cattle–a mark placed on something to show ownership.
The seal will be God’s name (Rev 14:1). We see this in Ezekiel 9:4 given to the righteous before judgment of Jerusalem (it was the Hebrew letter Taw, made like an X or +.
Jesus was sealed (John 6:27). Believers are sealed with the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Ephesians 1:13; 4:30).
The sealing is for protection from the coming judgments (Rev 7:9-17; 9:4) and to mark His people. Unbelievers will be marked with the sign of the beast (Rev 13:16-17).
It’s a comfort and a challenge to believers. He is with us and we are called to turn from Satan.