And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.
This third seal presents to us the rider on a black horse that symbolizes famines and other types of material shortages. Some of these include food, water, energy, and medicines among others. All of these types of shortages bring, at the least, physical discomfort but in many cases can lead to long suffering deaths.
Shortages of the necessities of life can affect the most powerful and wealthy to the most poor and weak nations of the earth. How can this be? It is because the forces of nature are in the hands of God alone. Droughts, flooding, excessive cold or heat and other types of extreme weather can produce shortages to even the most powerful of nations. The Lord alone is the One who can control these fundamentals of the world’s ability to produce life’s necessities.
The shortages that takes place in the world around us is a very powerful reminder of man’s inability to provide for his own physical needs. The simple things in life that many of us take for granted like food, clothing and shelter are truly day by day blessings given to us by Almighty God. Apart from His giving us our daily needs we would live lives of great want. For these blessings we should be forever grateful…
Psa 68:19 KJV – Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.
But the lesson learned from shortages does not end here. More importantly, we can learn that the times of life threatening physical shortages picture mankind’s spiritual needs and man’s inability to meet those needs. Just as the physical needs of man are supplied through divine intervention, so too the spiritual needs of mankind rely solely upon the intervening grace of God in their lives.
It is only through the grace of God that mankind will see their need of salvation, turn from those sins in repentance, and turn to Christ in saving faith. All of these are divine graces that take place in the heart of sinful mankind bringing them to a genuine salvation experience…
2Co 4:3-6 KJV …For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
2Ti 2:24-26 KJV And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
Eph 2:8-9 KJV For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
As Christians may we all allow the times of worldly shortages to remind us of our Lord’s gracious intervention in our lives meeting both our physical and spiritual needs. But also, may we use these times of need to remind us of lost mankind’s great need of Christ and the necessity for us to take the gospel message to them.
Finally, may we use these times to place our minds upon the coming return of our Lord and Savior who will, at that time, bring the blessings of our salvation complete as we enter into eternity with Him.
For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation:
Seals 1-4: http://wp.me/pU88A-3TJ
Next weeks’ posting – Seals 5-6: http://wp.me/pU88A-3Uc