Seals of Judgment
In Revelation 6 things start to get serious and devastating. John pictures each of the seals that we read yesterday being opened and each seal reveals a type of judgment on the earth and the people on the earth. The first seal is a conqueror, the second seal represents someone who brings conflict to the earth. The third seal speaks to scarcity and famine on the earth. The fourth seal is death, the fifth seal is the cry of the martyrs and the sixth seal is cosmic disturbances. I happen to take most of the book of Revelation literally but you might not see it that way. Also, I’m not looking to try to find modern day ways in which these seal judgments can be manifest. If they are intended to describe divine judgments on the earth, as I think they are, it’s not really important that I or anyone else for that matter, attempt to figure out exactly how these judgments are going to take place. This kind of “prediction” usually makes one look silly.
What I do find important about this chapter, if it is to be taken literally, is that those who are going through a tribulation period will no doubt recognize the details of these judgments and will likely be able to connect them with the word of God. I believe this will be incredibly encouraging to the followers of Jesus as they undergo persecution. We may not be able to see the details today but as people live out the details then, they will see how God has it all under control. I think this will be very meaningful for God’s people. One specific thing I find interesting here is in verses 15-17: 15 And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, 16 and said to the mountains and 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 His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” Note that in the midst of this incredible devastation, men are not interested in repentance. I find this incredible. It appears to me that God is not drawing people to Himself during this time; judgment, not redemption is on God’s mind at this time. This is a sobering thought. Many today seem very cavalier about when they might turn to Jesus. But we don’t get to make the decision. We can only respond to Christ when He draws us to Himself. If you are waiting for a more convenient day to follow Jesus, that day may never come. Today is the day of salvation and obedience. Don’t wait.