Revelation 6, 7: The Third Facet
Week 5, Tuesday: Three riders and horses
Three more seals are opened, revealing more of what is written in the scroll of the Lord. Three other horses and riders are released on the earth, and their “riding” coincides with the “conquering and to conquer” of the Rider on the white horse. There is thus both a timelessness and an “in-timeness” to what is revealed by the opening of these three seals. The Rider on the white horse will have to contend with other situations and other interests as He presses forward His claims and Kingdom.
Read Revelation 6
Meditate on Revelation 6.3-8
1. The rider on the red horse comes forth next (vv. 3, 4). What do this horse and rider represent? Why do nations indulge this policy and practice? What are they hoping to gain? In what ways does this “interest” compete with that of the Rider on the white horse?
2. Scales and balances symbolize the marketplace – people doing business (vv. 5, 6). Here, commerce is depicted as “black.” The price of that which is needed by all people, especially the poor, is sky high – a bag of grain for a day’s wage (cf. Matt. 20.2)! Those commodities more associated with the rich are not to be harmed (v. 6). What are we to think about the state of “business” during the course of human history? What threats or dangers does this oppose to the Rider on the white horse?
3. The fourth horse and rider represent creation sick and sickening (vv. 7, 8). In particular, what kind of “sickness” do this horse and rider seem to represent (note the abstract, “Death,” and the specific place, “Hades”)? How does this kind of sickness affect the rest of creation (cf. Gen. 3.17-19; Gen. 9.2)? Meditate on Romans 8.19-22. Does the “sickness” of creation have anything to do with the Rider and His white horse? Explain.
4. Four “threads” or “streams” of activity, events, and conditions are thus revealed to be continually at work during the course of human history in verses 1-8. And this is according to the words written in the scroll of God. Why didn’t God simply decree the Rider on the white horse as the only “rider” through the course of history? Why are these other sad, sick, and violent currents flowing through history as well? Meditate on Romans 9.17 as you think about how to answer these questions.
5. It seems inevitable that the “paths” of these four horses will intersect, overlap, run parallel, and clash at times during the course of human history. Given the nature of the last three horses and riders, what do you suppose might be some of the implications for the Rider and His white horse of this continuous interplay and clash of interests and conditions?
Should your Christian life be entirely free of conflict, trouble, persecution, pain, or suffering? Why or why not? In a mighty conflict, where competing interests are continually clashing and striving, who are the only ones who come away unscathed?
The Glory of God
We note that of none of these three horses is it said that they go forth conquering and to conquer. They simply are, and always will be. What are the implications of this for the Rider and His white horse? In practical terms, what should this mean for the Church during any period of history?
Glory to Glory
There will always be ugliness, sorrow, corruption, pain, and death on the earth. How does the presence of such things help to make the glory of God more obvious and, well, startling? What are the implications of this for your daily life (2 Cor. 3.12-18; 1 Cor. 10.31; Phil. 2.15)?
Let’s look more closely at our memory verses, Revelation 6.1, 2. Recite your memory verses aloud. Do so again, and as you do, express the confidence, hope, and energy these two verses suggest. Share your memory verse with a Christian friend today.
“What is man that You are mindful of him,
Or the son of man that You take care of him?
You have made him a little lower than the angels;
You have crowned him with glory and honor,
And set him over the works of Your hands.
You have put all things in subjection under his feet.”
For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him.
But we see Jesus…
T. M. Moore
The book of Revelation is the culminating episode in the story of God’s covenant. To learn more about that covenant, and to discover the way it integrates all of Scripture into the Gospel of Jesus Christ, order a copy of T. M.’s book, I Will Be Your God, by clicking here.
Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.