Join us as we dive deeper into the scripture passage from this past Sunday morning. Whether you’re in a group or just wanting to talk around the dinner table, you can use this discussion guide as we allow God’s word to shape us together in community!
What ways have you seen God at work in the past week?
What do you think about the contrast between the Kingdom of Heaven and the kingdoms of this world?
“Then I saw the Lamb open one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures call out, as with a voice of thunder, “Come!” 2 I looked, and there was a white horse! Its rider had a bow; a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering and to conquer.
3 When he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature call out, “Come!” 4 And out came another horse, bright red; its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people would slaughter one another; and he was given a great sword.
5 When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature call out, “Come!” I looked, and there was a black horse! Its rider held a pair of scales in his hand, 6 and I heard what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a day’s pay, and three quarts of barley for a day’s pay, but do not damage the olive oil and the wine!”
7 When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature call out, “Come!” 8 I looked and there was a pale green horse! Its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed with him; they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, famine, and pestilence, and by the wild animals of the earth.
9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slaughtered for the word of God and for the testimony they had given; 10 they cried out with a loud voice, “Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long will it be before you judge and avenge our blood on the inhabitants of the earth?” 11 They were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number would be complete both of their fellow servants and of their brothers and sisters, who were soon to be killed as they themselves had been killed.
12 When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and there came a great earthquake; the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, 13 and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree drops its winter fruit when shaken by a gale. 14 The sky vanished like a scroll rolling itself up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. 15 Then the kings of the earth and the magnates and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, 16 calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb; 17 for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”
Revelation 6 NRSV
If Jesus is the first rider on the white horse… what do you think about the fact that He holds a bow but there’s no mention of arrows (some even see a connection with the bow in the heavens first given to Noah after the flood)? What might this say about the manner of His conquering?
The red horse, the black horse and the pale horse signify “fallen Babylon” (i.e. the world outside of the Lordship of Jesus). War, famine and death… these are all destructive realities. Why is any reality outside of Jesus’ Lordship ultimately destructive?
John’s vision is not chronological in nature. It’s artistic and multifaceted. Like looking at a prism through which light shines, the Revelation has layered meaning/imagery and substance to it. With this said, how are the 4 horsemen and horses representative of all of human history… the present and the ultimate future until God’s Kingdom is fully realized?
If the red, black and pale horsemen bring destruction… how does King Jesus and His Church bring healing, hope and restoration?
Which horseman are your “riding with?” Are you riding with Jesus and His Kingdom (the Church)? If so, in what ways are you a part of bringing His healing and wholeness to “fallen Babylon?”
Verse 6 may be an illusion to how the vast majority of people are ravaged by war/sin, whereas the minority of the wealthy/powerful get to keep the olive oil and the wine… how is this counter to what the Lord wants to see in His Kingdom? How might we be a part of “fallen Babylon” values (power, money, privilege)?