Reposted from Pastor Flamme
(17 verses, 2:32 to read)
What I am about to READ
- Six of the Seven Seals, Four Horsemen, the Martyrs, and the Wrath of the Lamb
- Notice that only six of the seven seals are opened in this chapter. There’s respite from the tumult in chapter 7 where we see the saints singing their praises to the Lamb before the seventh seal is finally opened. The images of the end folds back on itself cyclically in this book as we’re given many different angles of the end and the manifest victory of Christ and his Church.
- 1st Seal/1st Rider who overcomes (1-2)
- 2nd Seal/2nd Rider who takes peace (3-4)
- 3rd Seal/3rd Rider who bears the scales (5-6)
- 4th Seal/4th Rider with death and Hades following (7-8)
- 5th Seal/Martyrs pray “How long?” (9-11)
- 6th Seal/Wrath of the Lamb, the crumbling of corrupted creation (14-17)
- I don’t presume to know the direct relationship between the figures of the horsemen and what they represent, though certainly John’s original audience probably had a better idea.
- Though there’s considerable debate as to what the four horsemen represent, we can say with confidence that they are under Christ’s Lordship. He opens the seals as the one who has already overcome sin and death with his blood (5:9). His kingdom, the holy Christian Church, has been established, and his saints share in his victory through the tumult of these last times in faith. Remember this; the horsemen are upon us even now. Everything they bring already befalls this world. Our prayers join with the martyrs and plead that the Lamb’s final judgment comes soon. It’s his wrath that is manifest in 6th seal against all godlessness. Our comfort comes from the fact that the Lamb is yet our Lord in these last dark days. He will preserve you, the members of his Church, as we learn in this blessed book.
- Prayer: “In these last days of sore distress grant us, dear Lord, true steadfastness that pure we keep, till life is spent, Thy holy Word and Sacrament” (TLH 292, stanza 2). Amen.
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-Pastor A. Brian Flamme