I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, ‘Come!’ 2 I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.
3 When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, ‘Come!’ 4 Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. 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.
5 When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, ‘Come!’ I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. 6 Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, ‘A kilogram of wheat for a day’s wages, and three kilograms of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!’
7 When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, ‘Come!’ 8 I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a quarter of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.
9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. 10 They called out in a loud voice, ‘How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?’ 11 Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been.
12 I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, 13 and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig-tree when shaken by a strong wind. 14 The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.
15 Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16 They called to the mountains and the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?’
What a picture of God’s judgement and punishment. These passages may be difficult to interpret; however my response in reading these verses in preparation for the blog was one of immense gratitude. While as a child I had a strong fear of hell, today this fear is probably stronger as I consider the ferocity of God’s wrath. Today we tend to focus more on what we are saved to rather than what we are saved from. Both should fill us with such a sense of gratitude that we continually thank God for Jesus. We should be praying this all the time (1 Thessalonians 5:17,18). I was really convicted by this passage and this led me to the following prayer.
Prayer: Almighty and sovereign God when we read these words in Revelation we wonder what this means. We contemplate whether this is what the pouring out of Your wrath looks like. Such vivid pictures terrify us, and yet we know from this and other parts of scripture that falling under Your wrath is a dreadful thing. In response we want to say thank You for Jesus, thank You that Jesus appeases Your wrath on our behalf. We cannot express sufficient gratitude for taking our punishment upon Himself to gift us with freedom and an eternity that no gift on earth could ever equal.
Today we want to not only thank You for our salvation, but we want to truly delight in You, consider You with such amazement that our love for You will just overflow. We are greatly blessed – way beyond what we can ever know.
As Your dearly loved children we give You all the honour, thanks and praise. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.