In Revelation 6:1 – 8:2 we see Jesus, as the Lamb who was slain, open up seven seals. In four of the seven bad things happen as a result – and the other three are questionable.
What’s going on here? Is God bringing about these bad things to punish those who don’t follow Him or is something else happening?
There is something especially interesting in the description of the second (Rev. 6:3-4), third (Rev. 6:5-6), and fourth seals (Rev. 6:7-8). The rider of each horse is given permission to bring about the bad things described.
This sounds a bit like the story of Job, where God gave Satan permission to attack Job in order to prove that Job would be faithful even if God’s protective hand was withdrawn. God allowed Satan to act in such a way as to reveal who he really was – a force for evil, bringing destruction and confusion.
There is a difference between God’s permissive will and His active will. He wants all of us to come to salvation and to have eternal life. He would love for us to live our best life here, but eternal life and a secure future is the highest priority right now. This is God’s active will. This is what He works to bring about.
In order for that to happen, Satan must have enough freedom to clearly show who he is and what things will look like if He is allowed to be in charge. It is the only way for us to really understand the false claims of “freedom” from God. This is God’s permissive will. He allows Satan to act so we can see for ourselves what He is like.
“Freedom” from God, means “freedom” from life since God is the source of life. Not only is He the source of life, but a life that gives fulfilment and meaning.
However, when we live in the middle of this battle, it can often be difficult to see that God is ultimately in charge and that He will ultimately win.
We see this as the fifth seal is broken as the souls of those who have suffered for God call out for justice (Rev. 6:9-11). We all long for the time when God will finally erase sin from the Universe with all its pain, suffering, and death.
But for now, we must still trust God’s promises.
All will be made right.
Jesus will come!
There will be a end to this war and God will win!!
The only questions is what side will you be on?
… The heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment.
Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along. On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames. But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness. (2 Peter 3:10-13, NLT)
This thought comes from this week’s assignment.
To download the assignment, click here.