7 When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!”
8 And I looked, and behold, a pale horse!
And its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him.
And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth.
Today we see the last horseman, and the last rider is perhaps the most sinister…its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him.
Death coming last shows us that there will be a tremendous death toll in the wake of the previous three horsemen; dictator, war, and famine. The scary thing is that since the time of Christ’s incarnational ministry – and before that actually – hundreds of millions of people have died through either dictators, through war, or through famine. But, the fact that this last rider is Death and he is given authority over a fourth of the earth is scary.
A quick Google search tells us that the current global population is 7.2 billion people, a fourth of which would be 1.8 billion. So Death comes and is given power of 1.8 billion people. Jesus talks about this time as having tribulation such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. (Matthew 24.21).
But, as with everything sobering and serious in God’s Word, there is always hope. Death and Hades were given authority, they did not come and take it (a recurring theme throughout this book).
God is still in control.
David Guzik writes,
“He still holds the scroll and [is opening] the seals.”
So, no matter whether we are talking about the Great Tribulation of God’s judgement against a fallen world, or whether we are dealing with personal tribulation in our personal lives, work lives, family lives, social lives, church lives, it doesn’t matter because God is still in control.
Difficulties don’t wrench us further from God, they have us running to Him at even greater speed, holding on for dear life, drawing close to Him knowing that His Word says that when we do, He will draw close to us.