THIRD SEAL (BLACK HORSE) – When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “A quart of wheat for a day’s wages, and three quarts of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!” (Revelation 6:5-6)
Riding A Black Horse – The color black is often connected with famine (Jeremiah 14:1–2; Lamentations 5:10). Famine and war go together. A shortage of food will always drive up prices and force the government to ration what is available.
Holding A Pair of Scales – To eat bread by weight is a Jewish phrase indicating that food is scarce (Leviticus 26:26). A penny (denarius) a day was a standard wage for laborers (Matthew 20:2) but, of course, it had much greater buying power than the common penny does today. A measure of wheat was about two pints, sufficient for the daily needs of one person. Ordinarily, a person could buy eight to twelve measures for a penny, and much more of barley, which was the cheaper grain. However, during the Tribulation, a man will have to work all day just to buy food for himself, needing even more to feed his family.
No Harm to Oil or Wine – At the same time, the rich will be enjoying plenty of oil and wine. No wonder the anti-Christ will eventually be able to control the economy (Revelation 13:17) as he promises to feed the hungry masses.(1) Even today we are clearly seeing an increasing disparity between the rich and the poor. Apparently, it will become even more acute during the tribulation.
Up Next – The rider on a pale horse.
- Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 588). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
Esther 4:16 – “When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” (NIV 1978)
My Musing – As harsh as it may sound, this should be our attitude when responding to God’s call. If it costs us everything we must still be willing to answer the call. This is not being fatalistic. It is being faithful to the One who sent His Son to die for our sins. We can never pay back that debt, but we can make down payments.
My Advice – Be devoted to God and obedient to His call. The cost will usually not be this high. He is more interested in the willingness than He is in the execution.
Galatians 6:9-10 – Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (NIV 1984)
My Musing – Sometimes we do not grow weary and give up, because we never got going to begin with and don’t have anything to give up. Sometimes we miss the opportunities because we just were not paying attention (too self-absorbed?). Sometimes we think “as we have opportunity” means “only if it is convenient.” Sometimes we act as if “especially to those who belong to the family of believers” means “[only] to those who belong to the family of believers.” Sometimes we think “to all people” is only those people who believe, think, act, dress, share the same opinions or look like we do. Sometimes we only want to do good if we think we will “reap a harvest” for ourselves (what’s in it for me?). Sometimes we only want to do good only if we think that they are deserving of good. Sometimes sometime is most of the time. Sometimes maybe we is just me (it’s so me times not so we times). Lord help me to focus on the good you want me to do and not so much on the good I think others should do. At least sometimes.
My Advice – Goodness knows there is an abundance of opportunities (not sometimes there are opportunities) out there of people down on their luck or going through difficult times that are in need. They cross our paths everyday. To the extent we do it for the least of these, we do it as for the Lord. Sometimes we do the least for these rather than doing for the least for these.
P.S. Another early photo op of my son Joel grown weary. He was already tired tomorrow.
FROM THE MIND OF WEBSTER
Faith – something that is believed, especially with strong conviction, even when there is no proof.
Faithful – having or showing true and constant support or loyalty, keeping your promises or doing what you are supposed to do.
BACKSTORY – DANIEL AND HIS THREE AMIGOS Continue reading “When Faith Becomes Faithful”
SECOND SEAL (RED HORSE) – When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword. (Revelation 6:3-4)
Riding A Red Horse – The color red is often associated with terror and death, for example the red dragon of Revelation 12:3 and the red beast of Revelation 17:3. It is a picture of wanton bloodshed.
Power to Take Away Peace – Killing and war has been a part of man’s experience since Cain killed Abel. This image should speak to believers in every age, reminding them that God is ultimately in control, even though He is not responsible for the lawless deeds of men and nations.
Given A Large Sword – The anti-Christ’s conquest begins in peace, but soon he exchanges the empty bow for a sword.(1)
Up Next – The rider on the black horse.
- Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, pp. 587–588). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
Esther 4:15 – “And who knows but that you have come to a royal position for such a time as this?” (NIV 1978)
My Musing – We must be ready to act when God puts us into a position to make a difference. He is showing His faith in us, we must respond by showing our faithfulness to Him.
My Advice – When you find yourself in a situation that is either almost too good to be true, or that is almost too hard to believe it is happening, ask yourself if perhaps God has brought you to that particular situation for a specific purpose. Coincidences usually do not just happen to God’s chosen ones. They occur by design for a reason. Be involved in the reason.
FIRST SEAL (WHITE HORSE) – I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest. (Revelation 6:1-2)
Riding A White Horse – Because Christ in His second coming is pictured (Revelation 19:11) as riding on a white horse (a symbol of victory), some have taken it that the rider in this first seal must also refer to Christ. Symbolically this might make sense as after a victory in battle Roman generals would return triumphantly riding a white horse with their captives following behind them. Chronologically, however, it is all wrong. Christ does not return to the earth as a conqueror at the beginning of the Tribulation, but at the end of the Tribulation. Also, the riders on the other horses obviously relate to destruction and judgment which precede the second coming of Christ by some period of time. A more widely accepted interpretation, and likely the correct one, is that the conqueror mentioned here is the future world ruler, sometimes referred to as anti-Christ (though Revelation uses the term beast or beast of the sea). He is probably the same person as the ruler of the people mentioned in Daniel 9:26.
Holding A Bow – This ruler has a bow without an arrow, which some take to indicate that his world government will be established without warfare. The future world government begins with a time of “peace and safety” but “destruction will come on them suddenly.” (1 Thessalonians 5:3)(1)
Wearing A Crown –The word for crown in Revelation 6:2 is stephanos – the victor’s crown. The crown that Jesus Christ wears is diadema – the kingly crown (Revelation 19:12). Though he may covet it, the anti-Christ will never wear the diadem, because it belongs only to the King of kings.
Up Next – The second seal, the rider on a red horse.(2)
- Walvoord, J. F. (1985). Revelation. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 947). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
- Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 587). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.