Creation of icons based on the Book of Revelation

Posts tagged “first

Commentary on First Horseman of the Apocalypse

Rev 6 v 1-2

1 I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!” 2 I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.



Here we have the Horseman with his bow astride the white horse.  An angel has descended and placed the crown upon his head.  The horse rears up its front legs at the rocks in front and a scorpion edges towards the pool of water that is revealed in a crack in the ground.  There is some kind of living creature within the water.


This is a very earth based scenario.  The horse’s back legs are firmly placed on the ground; there is desert; there are rocks.  The Horseman is too large for his mount, he has very broad shoulders, yet he is confidently balanced on his steed.  He is described as a conqueror bent on conquest.  What does he want to conquer with such focussed attention?

Underneath the horse the ground is cracked open to reveal water.  The living creature shows us that this water signifies something that has life; the life of our emotions, perhaps.  Locked up within the stony heart of earth, unforgiving, slow to change, hard hearted.  It takes this mighty conqueror to ride on his horse and pierce our hearts with his sturdy arrows to get them to yield and to change.  To open us up and make us ready for the spiritual transformation and change that is about to happen, that needs to happen.

The scorpion is a symbol of warning.  See this sting?  It will hurt.  The hurt and pain we feel when we are attacked, or feel threatened, or when change is thrust upon us, is represented by the scorpion’s sting.  It is warning us that we need to change our thinking, our way of being.  It will happen eventually. God’s Love, makes this a fact. The determination on the horse’s face is like God’s Will. We cannot prevent our spiritual advancement though the more we resist and harden our hearts the more the scorpion’s sting will give us pain.

Once cracked open we see the water of our emotions boiling away, turbulent under the stony covering of earth.  Is the living creature trying to smooth it over or stir it up?  We can answer that bay asking ourselves another question?  How do we behave when things go wrong in our lives?  Do we try and make peace or do we get riled up?  We can go either way, we have choice.  If we have choice then we also have the ability to make a new choice if the previous one does not work.

The Horseman has already sent an arrow flying, his bow now resting alongside.  He has powerful shoulders.  There is tremendous strength and indeed it takes enormous power to break open the rock of our hardened hearts.    He represents the first phase of our transformation from seeming human to truly human souls.

He wears a crown signifying he is a king; he has a kingdom.  He is our King.  Christ, who pierces our hearts with the arrow of the cross of His crucifixion.  His love is so great that He will not desert us and leave us buried within the tomb of our own making.  He is our liberator and he sets us free to begin on our soul’s journey.  Regard His face.  There is the same determination as in the expression of the horse that was called God’s Will above.  Both Father and Son are in accord.

Behind him in the sky is a formation of clouds that hint at a distant city.  Zion.  It is tenuous and ephemeral but there it is as an indication of what we can aspire to if we could only just see it and believe in it.


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