The Lamb Breaks the First Six Seals
6 As I watched, the Lamb broke the first of the seven seals on the scroll. Then I heard one of the four living beings say with a voice like thunder, “Come!” 2 I looked up and saw a white horse standing there. Its rider carried a bow, and a crown was placed on his head. He rode out to win many battles and gain the victory.
3 When the Lamb broke the second seal, I heard the second living being say, “Come!” 4 Then another horse appeared, a red one. Its rider was given a mighty sword and the authority to take peace from the earth. And there was war and slaughter everywhere.
5 When the Lamb broke the third seal, I heard the third living being say, “Come!” I looked up and saw a black horse, and its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. 6 And I heard a voice from among the four living beings say, “A loaf of wheat bread or three loaves of barley will cost a day’s pay.[b] And don’t waste[c] the olive oil and wine.”
7 When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the fourth living being say, “Come!” 8 I looked up and saw a horse whose color was pale green. Its rider was named Death, and his companion was the Grave.[d] These two were given authority over one-fourth of the earth, to kill with the sword and famine and disease[e] and wild animals.
9 When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of all who had been martyred for the word of God and for being faithful in their testimony. 10 They shouted to the Lord and said, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you judge the people who belong to this world and avenge our blood for what they have done to us?” 11 Then a white robe was given to each of them. And they were told to rest a little longer until the full number of their brothers and sisters[f]—their fellow servants of Jesus who were to be martyred—had joined them.
12 I watched as the Lamb broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake. The sun became as dark as black cloth, and the moon became as red as blood. 13 Then the stars of the sky fell to the earth like green figs falling from a tree shaken by a strong wind. 14 The sky was rolled up like a scroll, and all of the mountains and islands were moved from their places.
15 Then everyone—the kings of the earth, the rulers, the generals, the wealthy, the powerful, and every slave and free person—all hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16 And they cried to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. 17 For the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to survive?”
I think we could read a thousand different commentaries on this chapter, and we’d get a thousand different interpretations of what this could all mean. If we look at the first four seals, the “four horsemen of the Apocolypse”, this all could be stuff that will yet take place, or it could be stuff that has been and still is taking place. I mean, if you think about it, God has won victories, there was and is war, there was and is poverty, and there was and is death, famine and disease. If we consider cancer and the many horrible diseases out there, could it be that it affects a quarter of the population? Maybe.
What is crystal clear is that there will be very hard things to deal with, either now or in the future. And it is through these hard times when we will see the glory of God shine. Whats interesting is in vs 15, people were hiding because they were afraid of God and His wrath. But here is what i think the point of this chapter is: since we are His children, we do not need to fear death or God’s wrath. I can very clearly still remember the fear of death I had before I was saved. Even though I claimed to not believe in God, the fear was very real. We have this incredible comfort and peace in our lives when we give our lives to Christ. Death has no power over us any longer!
Paul tells us in many of his letters that we are to “consider it pure joy” when we face trials and tribulations. I think this chapter really emphasizes that truth. We are going to see and experience many very hard things, but we need not fear, because God has overcome for us already. We merely need to trust in His plan and lean on His mercy and grace.
Today, if you are facing something that seems impossible to handle, give it to God. Pray over it, go pray with someone else about it. Give it to Him and allow His joy to fill you as He removes that burden from you.