By: Steve Negley

Posted: June 5, 2023

Category: Daily Devotional

Revelation 6:1-7

Then I saw the Lamb break one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures call out, as with a voice of thunder, “Come!”[a] 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.

When he broke the second seal, I heard the second living creature call out, “Come!”[b] And out came[c] 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.

When he broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature call out, “Come!”[d] I looked, and there was a black horse! Its rider held a pair of scales in his hand, 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[e] and three quarts of barley for a day’s pay,[f] but do not damage the olive oil and the wine!”

When he broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature call out, “Come!”[g] 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.

In my childhood, I first saw “a horse of a different color” when Dorothy and her companions arrived in the Emerald City to meet the Great and Powerful Oz.’ This un-naturally colored horse was a type of cinematic expression, I was later told. In my teenage years, I first read the book of Revelation, and was confronted by four colorful horses. The somewhat strangely colored equines and their riders have also been explained as a form of artistic license.

Bible scholars remind us that Revelation was written (in code) to Christians who were suffering horrible persecution by the occupying Roman government. It tried to give hope as it predicted to them the future fall of their oppressors:

The white horse and the mounted archer mirrored the Parthians. (And they would soon fall)
The bright red horse and its rider spoke of coming anarchy and violence.
The black horse foreshadowed scarcity and economic collapse.
And the pale green horse (a different color indeed) spelled death for many.

In my college years, I remember a speaker who reminded Christians who read the book of Revelation that “In the end, we win.” I’ll ride that horse any time.


God, thank you for the ways you assure us of your power, control, and love. Help me to seek that understanding as I read your word and watch the world around me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.