“When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” And I looked, and there was a black horse. The horseman on it had a set of scales in his hand. Then I heard something like a voice among the four living creatures say, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius – but do not harm the olive oil and the wine.” Revelation 6:5-6
Will you join me in prayerfully considering these verses? Don’t forget to read part 1,2, and 3 for further understanding!
The voice that comes from among the four living creatures announces the price of a quart of wheat, indicating that food will be scarce and expensive probably due to severe drought. A denarius was the normal day’s wage of the common laborer. A quart of wheat (necessary for bread) was typically enough for a meal for one man. Barely (necessary for porridge and the stalk was for feeding animals) was usually considered inferior and used as food for livestock. The vision shows that a man working all day would only have enough for himself. Since food for the non-laborer usually comes from the excess of the laborer what will become of those in need as well as the animals? Nonessentials like wine and oil apparently will still be available.
According to Vincent’s word studies, “a balance is anything which joins two bodies, hence a yoke.” It is also the beam of the balance, and hence the balance itself. “The judgement of this seal is scarcity, of which the balance is a symbol, representing the time when food is doled out by weight.” Leviticus 26:26 gives us an example of a time when there was a ration of food and it was therefore weighed for each person. “When I cut off your supply of bread, 10 women will bake your bread in a single oven and ration out your bread by weight, so that you will eat but not be satisfied.” (All of Leviticus 26 is interesting to read as we look at the seals) Another example is found in Ezekiel 4:16-17, “Then He said to me, ‘Son of man, I am going to cut off the supply of bread in Jerusalem. They will anxiously eat bread rationed by weight and in dread drink water by measure. So they will lack bread and water; everyone will be devastated and waste away because of their iniquity.” DIVAs, do you feel compelled to repent of your wrong doing and seek the Lord desiring His paths wholeheartedly?
What if this seal instead represented a spiritual judgment (the lack of nourishment for our souls) as opposed to a physical judgment (the lack of nourishment for our bodies)? Isaiah 55:1 instructs us to, “Come, everyone who is thirsty, come to the waters; and you without money, come, buy, and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost!” When the darkness of ignorance spreads as denoted by the black horse, the knowledge and practice of truth becomes scarce. What if people despised their spiritual food and God justly deprives them of their daily bread (spiritually speaking)? The famine of bread is indeed terrible but is the famine of the Word more more awful? How would you answer?
Thank you Deanna for leading in worship! We are blessed indeed.
A statement in our feature verses begs the question, “Why are the olives and grapes spared?” Is it the question of poverty vs. wealth? We seem to do a fine job drawing our line between the haves and have-nots and keeping the issues of the have-nots removed from sight. Is there judgment associated with this? Judge our hearts Lord and determine where our true lack is. May the Lord have mercy on us as we repent in our areas of pride and greed. Or, are we “yoked” together, the have and have-nots, and each will be weighed in the scales of Justice? Revelation 1:3 tells us, “The one who READS this is blessed, and those who HEAR the words of this prophecy and KEEP what is written in it are blessed, because the time is near!” (emphasis mine) My personal belief is the blessing is that those who read Revelation will be blessed because the season of His coming will be recognized. However, the Father will bless in whatever way He sees fit! Could a blessing be that we read the warnings and change? I think so.
Why do you think the olives and grapes might be spared? Why do you think about the scales? Post your thoughts in the comment section! I want to hear from you♥!
In His grace,