After the amazing scene of worship in chapter 5, John watches as the Lamb opens the first of the seven seals, then one of the four living creatures, in a thundering voice says “Come!”
- Before John was a white horse, who’s rider had a bow, to whom was given a crown, and rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest
- When the Lamb opened the second seal, John heard the second living creature say “Come!”
- Then another, fiery red horse came out, its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make people kill each other, to him was given a large sword
- When the Lamb opened the third seal, John heard the third living creature say “Come’” John then saw a black horse who’s rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. John then heard another voice saying “Two pounds of wheat for a day’s wage and six pounds of barley for a day’s wage, and do not damage the oil and wine!”
- When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, he heard the voice of the fourth living creature say “Come!”
- Before John was a pale horse, it’s rider was named death, and Hades was following closer behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth, to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth
- The fifth seal was opened, and under the altar were the souls who had been slain because of their testimony. They called out “How long sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you avenge our blood and judge the inhabitants of the earth?”
- Each of those souls were given a white robe and were told to wait a little linger until the full number of their fellow servants – brothers and sisters - were killed as they had been
- As the sixth seal was opened, there was a great earthquake, the sun turned black, and the moon blood red, and stars fell to the earth. The heavens receded, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.
- Then the kings of the earth, princes, slaves, the generals and the rich hid in caves among the rocks of the mountains. They called on the rocks to fall on them in order to hide them from the wrath of the Lamb!
- For the great day of wrath has come, and no one can withstand it
Using the template I used for my last SOAP, I read in John where perfect love drives out fear, as fear has to do with punishment. This is a fitting backdrop for this chapter.
John is showing us a vision of the Lamb (Jesus) who has been given power to become a Lion if you will. Actually, he has always had this power, but has restrained himself until now. This is a look at the judgment of God. While much of the pictures painted seem to be metaphors, God certainly can bring judgment any way He pleases, or exactly as is pictured. In any event, The Lamb who was slain is now going to slay, and those who do not know Him will be terrified and hopeless. Those who do not know God have now come face to face with the most terrifying ordeal imaginable - righteous justice and judgment. In this scenario there is no defender, no excuse, and no hope. Instead of falling to their knees in awe, reverence, and worship, they have flatly rejected the hope that God has offered them. There is no place to hide, and everything that has seemed reliable has been altered, or taken away, the sun and moon, peace, life, food, health, authority over animals, - and there is nothing left but truth.
No one likes the idea of judgment, but righteous judgment is something that the souls of those who had been unjustly slaughtered, who know that their Lord is deserving of honor and glory, are pining for. It has been promised, and it is good.
The question I have is, what am I relying on? The Lord of Heaven and earth has created, or has power over, anyone, or anything else I put my hope on. How much more should I declare him as my Lord as well, regularly, naturally, hopefully, needfully, passionately, authoritatively, and humbly?
What a drastically different picture the elders around the throne give us verses those who flee in terror. This will happen, it is written, You have promised. May I daily give over the things in life I rely on to you in sacrifice and worship. You are worthy oh Lamb who sits upon the throne. May You order my life, number my days, and assign me to be faithful to Your task You have given me. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Posted on Tue, December 8, 2015
by Brian Landers