S (Scripture): Revelation 6:1 I looked on when the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a thunderous voice, “Come!” 2 So I looked, and here came a white horse! The one who rode it had a bow, and he was given a crown, and as a conqueror he rode out to conquer.
3 Then when the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come!” 4 And another horse, fiery red, came out, and the one who rode it was granted permission to take peace from the earth, so that people would butcher one another, and he was given a huge sword.
5 Then when the Lamb opened the third seal I heard the third living creature saying, “Come!” So I looked, and here came a black horse! The one who rode it had a balance scale in his hand. 6 Then I heard something like a voice from among the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat will cost a day’s pay and three quarts of barley will cost a day’s pay. But do not damage the olive oil and the wine!”
7 Then when the Lamb opened the fourth seal I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come!” 8 So I looked and here came a pale green horse! The name of the one who rode it was Death, and Hades followed right behind. They were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill its population with the sword, famine, and disease, and by the wild animals of the earth.
O (Observation): Conquest. Anger. Wrath. Death! These are not pleasant thoughts. And these thoughts seem to be emanating for God! Didn’t God reveal that a new heaven and earth would come and all would be well just a chater or two earlier? Yes! But apparently this other stuff is gonna go down first!.
The scene is laid out for us to consider. Who are these horse riders and what comes with each one? Many have tried to interpret…and even more (like me) have mostly ignored these verses (and others like these).
Can God allow such death? Can that be a part of who God is? Is this type of action to be expected when evil is being rooted out? Perhaps.
A (Application): These verses seem a lot less like the teddy-bear, grace-hugging God we like to hear about. (Or that sweet, 8lb, 6oz, baby Jesus we all want to see in the manger.). And yet, here we are. The beauty of the Moravian Daily texts revealed: you encounter some Scriptures you just don’t want to deal with.
The dark side is here. And it is part of the Scriptures. We cannot deny it. And so we pray for revelation. We pray that God is the one in control, even when conventional wisdom fails.
We do know this…especially highlighted in this season of Advent: the light shines in the darkness and darkness cannot overcome it.
Can you think of other texts that are difficult to handle? If so leave them in the comments section below, and maybe we can banter back and forth a little bit about those.
P (Prayer): Lord, you are beyond us at times, and in other times, so simple and close. When we sense darkness, remind us that you bring light and life itself! Amen.