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The black horse of famine

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The book of Revelation paints the picture of four prophetic horses which will ride at the end of the age. Each brings troubles and plagues with it, leaving human casualties in their wake. Russia and India are battling one of the tools spoken of in the third seal – the black horse of famine!

Today, an article from the Kansas City Star with the headline, "Russia announces ban on grain exports in response to drought," reported that, "Russia announced Thursday that it would ban grain exports … in response to a scorching drought that has destroyed millions of acres of wheat and hobbled the country's agricultural revival.

"The ban on grain exports by Russia, one of the world's largest wheat producers, helped propel wheat prices at … commodities exchanges toward their highest levels in nearly two years. It also raised the prospect that consumers could pay more for … flour and bread as Russia tries to conserve its grain supplies."

Again, today, another Kansas City Star article reads: "Wheat rots in India as world prices at 2 year high." Adding insult to injury it stated, "A wheat stockpile in India that could feed 210 million people for a year is starting to spoil because the government lacks enough warehouses to store it – a lightning rod for local discontent that could send ripples through the world market for the grain.

"According to a government estimate … 17.8 million metric tons of wheat are exposed to the elements – stored outdoors, under tarps in India's pounding monsoon rains. The wheat could alleviate hunger … Instead it is going to the dogs. As it wastes, it promises to drive global wheat prices, up 78 percent since June, even higher."

Prophecy is clear when it speaks of the world's food supply at the end of the age. "When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, 'Come and see.' So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand" (Revelation 6:5). The prophetic vision of a black horse representing global famine is given, its rider holding scales representative of economic conditions in regard to food. The passage continues: "And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, 'A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine'" (v. 6).

A quart of wheat would supply an average person one day's sustenance. A denarius is equivalent to a day's wage. Barley, also mentioned here, was used by the poor to mix with the wheat to expand their supply of the more valuable wheat. Due to alternating droughts and flooding, the crops of the world will be decimated and humanity's food supply will be critically disrupted. Disrupted is the key, as we see – here the oil and the wine, fragile crops, are not to be harmed.

The black horse represents famine; however, Revelation 6:8, in describing the fourth seal and the pale horse, also speaks of a time of famine and lack of food on a grander scale. "So I looked, and behold, a pale horse, and the name of him who sat on it was Death and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth."

This stark reality should hit us square in the stomach and make us more than ever cry out to God for His protection, guidance, and sustaining power in our lives. We should seek to understand our Creator's purpose for us, through the power of a dynamic prayer life. Request today our free booklet, Twelve Keys to Answered Prayer.

Seek God while it is called today and escape from the black horse and its deadly mission – global famine!