Six of the Seals Are Opened
December 27 - Nº 361 Revelation 6 – 7
As John watched, the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. One of the four creatures from around the throne (see #360 - December 26) proclaimed in a thunderous voice, “Come!” Immediately a white horse appeared. The rider was holding a bow and was given a victor’s crown. He rode off ready to conquer. Since he had no arrows or other weapons, his mission was to produce a peaceful transition of power on the earth. Another seal was opened, and a second heavenly creature said, “Come!” This time a fiery red horse appeared. Its rider was handed a large sword. He was given power to take peace away from the earth and to cause people to kill each other. The Lamb opened a third seal and a third creature said, “Come!” A black horse appeared. Its rider held a pair of scales. John heard someone in the throne room say, “Two pounds of wheat for a day’s wages or six pounds of barley. But do not damage the oil and the wine!” No longer would the poor be able to afford the basic food items they needed—but the rich would continue to have plenty. When the fourth seal was opened, the fourth living creature said, “Come!” A pale horse appeared with a rider who represented Death. One representing Hades (see #358 - December 24) followed closely behind. They were given power over one fourth of the earth to bring death by sword, famine, plagues, and wild beasts. The opening of the fifth seal revealed the souls of believers who had been martyred for their faith. They were safely hidden at the foot of the altar in the heavenly Temple. They called out, “How long, Sovereign Lord, until you avenge the shedding of our blood?” Each of them was given a white robe and the promise that justice was coming. When the sixth seal was opened a massive earthquake shook the whole earth; the sun turned black, and the moon looked like blood. Stars (possibly meteors) fell to the earth. Everyone ran to the mountains to seek cover. But instead of turning to God and repenting, they begged the rocks to fall on them and put them out of their misery. Meanwhile, an angel appeared holding a signet ring. He ordered the angels who had been given the power to harm the land and sea not to do any more damage until he had placed God’s seal on the foreheads of 144,000 Israelites (12,000 from each tribe). They had been chosen to serve God and were not to be harmed. As time advanced, John looked up. He saw a huge multitude of people from every tribe and nation standing before the throne and the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and holding palm branches. An elder explained that these people had become believers after the seals were opened and the tribulations began. He added, “The One who sits on the throne will shelter them. Never again will they hunger or thirst. The Lamb will be their shepherd. He will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
It is hard to imagine that people would be so stubborn that they would rather be crushed by rocks than admit their sinfulness and turn to God. Do you ever stomp your feet and refuse to admit you are wrong? Is there an area in your life where you struggle to listen to God? Remember, He loves you and wants the best for you.