Scripture: Revelation 6:3-8, Matthew 24:6-7
Today we look at the second seal where John is told "to come and see." John must adventure beyond his present location and beyond the revelation has already received. The second rider is on a fiery red horse and he is given power to take peace from the earth and make men slay each other. To him was given a great sword: a symbol of mass destruction.
In Matthew 24:6-7, we read about nation rising against nation and kingdom against kingdom. John is seeing global warfare and hundreds of millions of lives being lost. John could be seeing a specific time of war or multiple wars from his time until the second coming of Christ. He does not see peace on the earth.
The third seal is then opened in verse five and again John is told to "come and see." He must delve deeper into the revelation. Now we read of a third rider on a black horse holding a pair of scales in his hands. This seals portrays the scarcity of food and basic necessities of life. Matthew 24:7 tells us that there will be famines: famines are the natural aftermath of war. War destroys property, disrupts agricultural production, affects product transportation and causes nations/individuals to hoard what they have. Many that will survive the wars will die from hunger.
The fourth seal is opened and again John is told "to come and see." The revelation is so intense that John must go beyond his human capabilities. The fourth rider is on a pale horse: a sickly looking horse. This rider's name is Death and following behind him is hell. All four horsemen are given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague and with the beasts of the earth. Humans led by evil to cause mass destruction. Jesus spoke of pestilences, deadly epidemics and diseases. All these elements reinforce each other. Wars lead to famines and pestilences which lead to further fighting over resources.
At the time of the end the faithful people of God will also face some of these dire circumstances. God does not want His servants to be surprised by such tragedies, but He does want us to look up to Him for help and deliverance. Jesus said: "He that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved." This teaching should give us a new perspective and help us to put aside the little trivial things that get in our way.