Revelation 7:17 (ESV) … “For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
In Revelation chapter seven, John looks up and sees a crowd so large that it would be difficult even to estimate its size. There are people in that number from every nation, race, and language. “Who are these in the white robes?” we wonder. An elder asks John this very question (Revelation 7:13). John replies, in essence, “You tell me; you’re the one that knows.” And the elder’s answer is, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation” (Revelation 7:14).
The problem here is whether these have come out of one “Great Tribulation” or whether he is speaking of tribulation in general. Has this tribulation already transpired, or is it still in the future? Will it be at the very end just before the Lord’s return? Tribulation is treated more fully as a special subject at the end of this chapter. Suffice it to say at this point that the very presence of tribulation all along makes the book of Revelation more meaningful through the ages, but the message indicates that tribulation will increase in intensity especially as the end draws near. But these redeemed in front of John have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb. The blood Jesus shed in dying on the cross cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7; see Romans 3:25; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18, 19).
“Around the throne” (11) we find “all the angels” and the twenty-four elders and the four living beings. They are continuing to worship and praise God, much as they did in chapters 4 and 5. But attention is drawn back to the multitude in white robes (Revelation 7:13). They are “before the throne,” and because “they have washed their robes … in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14), special blessings are promised to them.
The chapter closes with a comforting list of blessings Christians have in Heaven (Revelation 7:15–17). First, God is there, and they have the privilege of giving worship-service to Him continually. The glory of His presence settles over them. Then follows a list of physical wants they will never be troubled with again. No hunger, no thirst, no scorching heat. And the Lamb who has been their sacrifice but is alive and victorious, the Lamb who has the wrath of a judge bent on meting out justice to the wicked, this same Lamb will be a shepherd for the redeemed. He will lead them to springs of living water. This is no picture of mass operation in Heaven. It comes down to being as personal as you can get. God will wipe away every tear from the eyes of both great and small.