The Fourth Seal

This post will be a little different from most of the posts I put up.
In recent months, I have been doing a lot of reading about what is going on in other countries. The persecution, the wars, the famines, and anything else. It can be distressing if not taken in the light of His Word. I have prayed for some of these countries, and even have a few facebook friends that live in these countries.  In East Africa alone thousands of children have died in just a few short months. And a million or more are starving due to drought. There has been constant fighting in these countries for years.  And I think most of us know what goes on in the Middle East. One cannot help but ask the Lord why sometimes? Why so much?
The other night I began doing some reading, I think it started with reading about Sudan, and the “new” news about what is going on there. 
Then reading Lam. 5:10. What was this black skin about, and what was it from? By googling and looking at some commentaries came to the conclusion that it was due to famine which often brought on ashen skin and some times fever. Black fever maybe? 
Eventually I wound up in Revelation 6. And then read chapter 6 of ‘The Final Triumph’ by Zac Poonen. Below is an excerpt from it about the Fourth Seal. 
V.7,8: And when He broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, ‘Come’, and I looked, and behold, an ashen horse: and he who sat on it had the name ‘Death’; and Hades was following with him. And authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.
Here we see a sickly pale horse. And its rider was “Death”. Following it is “Hades” – which is a name for the place where people go when they die. Authority was given to them over a quarter of the earth . The world’s population is over six billion, and so this represents authority over 1500 million people. Four instruments used to kill people are mentioned here: (1) weapons of warfare, (2) famines, (3) diseases and (4) wild beasts.
It is important for us to know why God permits these four judgments, so that we have no part in them.
In Ezekiel 14:13,14, we read that the Lord says, “If a country sins against me by committing unfaithfulness, and I stretch out My hand against it, destroy its supply of bread, send famine against it, and cut off from it both men and beasts, even though these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, by their righteousness they could deliver themselves”.
Noah, Daniel and Job were the most righteous people of their time. Noah saved his wife, his three sons and their wives. Daniel saved His three friends. Job saved his family. But God says that if they had lived at this time, they would have been able to save only themselves. They would not be able to deliver their sons and daughters, if those children were not righteous themselves.
And then God says, “If I were to cause wild beasts to pass through the land, and they depopulated it, and it became desolate so that no one would pass through it because of the beasts, though these three men were in its midst as I live, declares the Lord God, they could not deliver either their sons or their daughters. They alone would be delivered.” (Ezek.14:15,16).
And then the Lord adds, “How much more when I send my four severe judgments against Jerusalem – sword, famine, wild beasts and plague of disease.” (v.21). These are the four judgments mentioned in Revelation 6:7,8.
But God is gracious in that only one-fourth of the world’s population is wiped out, so that the others may turn to righteousness. It is only by righteousness that we can protect ourselves from these severe judgments. We cannot save our wives, our sons, our brothers or our sisters, unless they are righteous too.
For all righteous people the promise in Psalm 91 is particularly relevant. There we read of these four judgments:
(1)    weapons of warfare – “the arrow that flies by day” (v.5);
(2)    disease – “pestilence (v.6);
(3)    famine – “the destruction that lays waste at noon” (noon is the time when we eat and this refers to lack of food) (v.6);
(4)    wild animals – “you will tread upon the lion and cobra, the young lion and the serpent you will trample down” (v.13).
These judgments will not touch the righteous. “A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not approach you” (v.7).
One-quarter of the world’s population may be affected. But “IT WILL NOT APPROACH YOU!”
“You will only look with your eyes, and see the recompense of the wicked. For you have made the Lord, your dwelling place…No evil will befall you, nor will any plague come near your house”(v.8-13).
Why? The Lord says, “Because he loved me, therefore I will deliver him, I will set him securely on high” (v.14). The Lord will set us on high. Let us make sure that we qualify for that promise to be fulfilled in our lives.”
A rough estimate of people who have died in wars alone over the last one hundred years is near 300 million. Who knows how many have really died? It’s been reported that for every 5 minutes one Christian is killed because of their faith. That’s roughly over 10 million in the last 100 years.
Though it is some what comforting to know these things are all part of His plan and are in His complete control, I still think about the few that are left in these countries who have not forsaken Christ, who are still holding onto Him faithfully.

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