When He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, "Come " I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand.Revelation 6:5(NASB)
The Lamb on the throne was the only One Who was worthy to open the seven-sealed scroll and set in motion the full force of God's judgement and wrath, on a world, that not only rejected the Father, and the Holy Spirit, convicted the world of sin, righteousness, and judgement, but they also rejected the Lord Jesus Christ - the second Member of the Godhead, Who came to earth as a Man, to pay the ultimate price for the sin of the world. They even rejected the One Who gave His life as the ransom price for mankind, and spilled His blood so that whosoever believes on HIM would not perish but receive life eternal.
The breaking of the first and second seals caused the first two horsemen to be released into the world. The first rider sits on a white horse heralding a false peace, while the second horseman brings in his wake a great and bloody war, that wlll kill a fourth of mankind. The third rider to appear on the prophetic page of future history, will ride a deathly dark black horse.
As with the first two horsemen, this third rider came at the command of the third living creature, who cried, "COME". "When the Lamb on the Throne broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, "Come!" Once again John looked, "and behold, a black horse. And the one who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand."
As each rider is summoned onto the world stage, we discover a terrible time of trouble unfolding - a time of destruction, death, and tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will do so again. Each rider carries in his hand an implement that dictates his nefarious role as the 70th week of Daniel begins to unfold. "I looked," John began as he wrote in his little book "I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand."
While the bow without an arrow identified the first rider, as the one who would usher in a false peace, and the great sword of the second horseman depicted war and bloodshed, the third rider held in his hands a pair of scales - representing unprecedented famine. His shocking announcement of terrible food shortage, worldwide, was confirmed, as something like a voice from the centre of the four living creatures said, "a quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius.
In the time of John, the wages a worker received for one day's work, was one denarius. Indeed, the price for a meagre quart of wheat, or three quarts of barley was also one denarius. So great was the famine and so low were a man's wages, that the food they could purchase would not suffice the hunger of one person for one day.
This future famine that will be ushered in by the third horseman of the apocalypse, will bring unimaginable poverty as this tremendous famine spreads worldwide, when that rider on the black horse bursts onto the world stage. No doubt the war that precedes the famine, will compound its destructive effects, causing both rich and poor to suffer tremendously, as panic spreads... and the evil activities of the antichrist places colossal economic element and cripple constraints throughout the whole world.
While many view the four horsemen of the apocalypse as the end of the world and a time to fear, we should never forget that the focus of the book of Revelation is the revealing of JESUS CHRIST. He is the One Who is coming to right all wrongs. He is the One who is will punish the wicked and restore justice, peace and prosperity to a sinful world, that has lost its way. He is coming to judge the world in RIGHTEOUSNESS and to set up His glorious kingdom on earth. Jesus is coming to place all God's enemies under His feet.
We must never forget that our God is a God of LOVE, Who became a MAN to redeem this cursed world and save the fallen race of humanity from their sin, through the sacrificial death of His only begotten Son. However, because He is a God of justice, all sin MUST be punished. But instead of punishing the entire human race in the eternal 'Lake of Fire', He determined to redeem ALL who would trust in Him and to pour out His wrath, for only 7 years, on a God-hating, Christ-rejecting, Anti-Semitic, sinful world, that has systematically persecuted generations of God's people.
May we never forget that the Great Tribulation is the period of time when a multitude without number will turn from sin to faith in Christ. It is the time when the nation of Israel will finally recognise their Messiah and call on the name of the Lord for salvation. While we shudder at the horrors that must be poured out on this sin-sick, fallen world may we rejoice that through it ALL, God will be glorified and countless multitudes will be brought to repentant faith in Him.
But until the Church is removed from the earth, prior to this time of great trouble - The Great Tribulation, let us redouble our desire to proclaim the truth of the gospel of grace to those with whom we come in contact and let us pray for God's mercy and grace to fall on the race of man.
Dear Lord, and heavenly Father, thank You that Jesus has won the victory over sin and Satan and that the terrible evil that will be perpetrated by the four horsemen of Revelation will turn the hearts of many to repent of their sin and call on the name of the Lord for salvation. Thank You that we live in this dispensation of grace and are not appointed to wrath. But Father, there are many unsaved in the world today, who need to know Jesus as Saviour. We pray, that in Your goodness and grace, You would bring more souls into His kingdom, before the Church is removed, the seven-sealed scroll begins to be opened, and the world is judged in righteousness, by the Man Christ Jesus - in Whose name I pray, AMEN.