Monday, April 11, 2016

Six sinister seals

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Revelation 6:1-17

 “And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders of the mighty men, every slave and every free man hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come and who is able to stand?’” Revelation 6:15-17

Revelation 6 reminds me of some poetry. Even though I don’t understand specifics, the images and tone are enough to send shivers up and down my back.

My Bible includes notes about the interpretation of the six seals described here (New Spirit-Filled Life Bible Revelation study notes written by Earl Wesley Morey, p. 1825, 1826).

1. Seal 1 (Revelation 6:2): The white horse could be symbolic of international power politics in the form of military conquest, or it could be a symbol of Christ moving in triumph through His church during the events that follow.

2. Seal 2 (Revelation 6:3,4): The red horse is symbolic of civil war and strife.

3. Seal 3 (Revelation 6:5,6): The black horse is symbolic of economic disruption – not famine but inflation and scarcity.

4. Seal 4 (Revelation 6:7,8): The pale horse symbolizes disease and death.

5. Seal 5 (Revelation 6:9-11): The fifth seal is the souls of martyrs praying for the vindication of God’s justice. God assures them the day of vindication will come – but not until all those predestined to join them, as people who have died because of their faith, is complete. (“God is concerned for justice but even more for mercy” New Spirit Filled Life Bible p. 1826.)

6. Seal 6 (Revelation 6:12-14): Cosmic natural disaster or disasters in the form of earthquakes and galactic events that will impact the sun, moon and stars. This last seal climaxes in the humans left alive on earth screaming for something – anything, to come between them and God’s wrath.

Lately, when hearing news of economic upheaval, or watching the ebola virus ravage whole countries in Africa, or observing scenes from natural disasters like the recent floods in India (together with hearing how they have affected people on the ground from those who live there), or watching
geopolitical disasters on TV like the thousands of Syrian refugees camped on Europe's borders in winter's cold,  I have asked – could it get any worse? This passage assures us – it can, and will!

The question for me and you, then, is what are we doing now, in the light of these coming events? Are we living awake or asleep, prepared or unprepared (Matthew 25:1-12)?  Are we recognizing the tremors that are already shaking our world – the precursors to “the big one”? (Matthew 24:3-8)  Are we busy with God’s assignments  or absorbed in our own business (Matthew 28:18-20; Matthew 24:45-51)?

Dear God, please help me to live with the awareness of Your plan, present and future. Help me to be expectant and wise, redeeming the time I have. Amen
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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