“When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the fourth living being say, “Come!” I looked up and saw a horse whose colour was pale green. Its rider was named Death, and his companion was the Grave. These two were given authority over one-fourth of the earth, to kill with the sword and famine and disease and wild animals.”
Revelation 6:7-8 NLT
Now the fourth living being gets involved, with another shout of “Come!” And in John’s vision a fourth horse appears. This one was a pale green in colour, perhaps an appropriate shade, as his rider would be introducing sickness and disease into the world. This rider had a name, “Death”. And he had a friend with him called “Grave”. And his mission was to create havoc in a quarter of the world’s population by stirring up war and fighting, introducing food shortages and diseases and, almost as though for good measure, unleashing wild animals to attack and kill people. What a dire and dismal prognosis.
We are just emerging from a global attack of disease in the form of Covid. Millions have died in spite of extraordinary attempts and spectacular successes to mitigate and reduce the impact of this rampant virus. But in previous centuries we have seen similar plagues such as Spanish flu, Black Death, and so on. Has this horseman already been active in our world? Surely we would have known and people everywhere would be aware that God is judging the world in response to its evil and sin?
Jesus gave us a few clues about the end times in Matthew 24. And one thing he did say was that in spite of the signs, people would effectively ignore them. In Matthew 24:37-39 we read, “When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. People didn’t realise what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes”. Sadly, in spite of extensive evangelising and spreading of the Good News, most people don’t want to change their ways. And one day, all of a sudden, it will be too late for them to respond.
So we pilgrims keep picking away, sharing our messages of hope, not just by our words, but also with our deeds. Sharing our love of God with those around us. Being kind and caring to one another. So that when Jesus returns He will find us doing what He has asked us to do.
Dear Father God. Thank You for giving us such a tremendous message of hope for the wicked and sinful world within which we live. Please increase our opportunities to share what we have. And we pray that You continue to resource us for the tasks You want us to do. In Jesus’ name. Amen.