Rev. Mark H. Creech
Winnie Byanyima, Ugandan politician, human rights activist, and diplomat, said: “Conflict and callous politics drive famine.” Famine is intense suffering, and the people who die from it die slowly and incrementally.
In the mid-1990s, there was a terrible famine in North Korea, and more than a million people died. North Korean defector and activist Lee Hyeon-Seo, said that those who survived ate only grass and bugs.
During the great famine in Russia from 1932-1933, a peasant described the famine in this way: “We’ve eaten everything we could get our hands on – cats, dogs, field mice, birds. You will see the trees stripped of their bark when it’s light tomorrow. And the horse manure has been eaten. Sometimes there are whole grains in it.”
In modern times, especially in nations located in the West, famine is associated with antiquity. Nevertheless, famine has never been abolished, and Revelation Chapter 6 predicts a period of unprecedented worldwide famine.
In Chapter 6, the apostle John has been lifted and raptured into heaven, where he awaits for Christ to break the third seal of a scroll – a scroll only he was worthy to open. As Christ breaks the seals of this scroll, a new interval of God’s plan for the earth’s final days is laid bare.
With the breaking of the first two seals of the scroll’s total of seven, the apostle reported that riders on a white horse and a red horse appeared. The white horse and its rider represent deception and the devil’s “man of sin,” the Anti-Christ. The second rider on the red horse symbolizes war, more specifically, worldwide conflicts of nation against nation, and civil wars, assassinations, murder, and mayhem, which saturate the ground everywhere with blood.
Then, the apostle says, “When the Lamb [Christ] broke the third seal, I heard the third living being say, ‘Come!’ I looked up and saw a black horse, and its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice from among the four living beings say, “A loaf of wheat bread or three loaves of barley will cost a day’s pay. And don’t waste the olive oil and wine.” (Revelation 6:5-6).
Like the children playing the board game Jumanji, who rolled the dice in the 1995 movie of the same name, animals and creatures suddenly emerged to present dangerous challenges. When Jesus broke the third seal of the scroll, an individual carrying a set of scales mounted on a pitch-black horse materialized. This rider presents a challenge millions worldwide will not likely survive, the peril of hunger and starvation.
Deception disseminated by fraudulent leaders often capitulates nations into war, and war leads to dearth and deprivation. As a result of World War I and the revolutions which followed, 27 million people starved to death. As many as 20 to 25 million died of hunger and hunger-related diseases because of World War II.
During conditions of hostilities, farmers find it difficult to plant and harvest because the land is ravaged. Moreover, marauding armies take away their crops. There are also supply chain issues. Food scarcity can skyrocket prices, production, and distribution expenses.
In the book, Four Views on the Book of Revelation, C. Marvin Pate contends:
Some would argue that what John was already familiar with was what he was actually citing in the prophecy of the rider on the black horse. They say the black horse already rides. Indeed, there have been wars and famines on various levels throughout human history. There is a sense in which the assertion is true. However, what John references is a collective of such circumstances rising and building toward a future catastrophic paucity on a global scale. What’s being described is the wrath of God stored up until the cup runs over on a Christ-hating, Bible-hating, blaspheming, grace-despising, and unbelieving world. The world’s godless masses are finally getting their just comeuppance.
Revelation 6:6 says the rider on the black horse is to spare the luxuries of the “olive oil and the wine.” In other words, this period of tremendous tribulation on the earth will be when almost everyone everywhere, except the very rich, will find too little of what is desperately needed and an overabundance of what isn’t.
Dr. Henry Morris, in his book Creation and the Second Coming, argues the epistle of James, chapter 5:1-8 “is a graphic prophecy of social unrest in the last days.” The text reads:
Morris says these verses show “[t]he eternal conflict between rich and poor, capital and labor, master and slave, was evidently going to become more intense than ever before in the last days, finally erupting in weeping and howling and miseries and in a great “day of slaughter.” He adds:
Does the prospect of these future events symbolized in these horsemen strike you with fear and trembling? If you have never received Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, you should be afraid. When fear leads us to a positive conclusion or helps us avoid danger, it is a good thing.
Terrible disasters are on the horizon for those who ignore God’s kindness in Jesus Christ. But the saved can look up confidently, knowing their redemption draws near. (Luke 21:28).© Rev. Mark H. Creech
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