When the Lamb opened the third seal . . . I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand.
The third horseman in this story rides a black horse. This rider holds a pair of scales, which were used for everyday buying and selling. These scales, however, were rigged to inflate the costs of grain. The third horseman represents economic injustice, robbing many people of their daily bread and other basic needs.
In this picture we sense the care and concern of God over unjust practices, because a day’s worth of wages for a small bag of grain or flour would have a big impact on most people for their survival.
Jesus knows the importance of having daily bread available for everyone. One of his most famous miracles was his feeding of many thousands of people when they were tired and hungry in a remote place. He refused to send the people away hungry (Matthew 14:16). And when Jesus taught us to ask God our Father, “Give us today our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11), it was our basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter that he had in mind.
Following Jesus’ example, we can live and work so that the scales for economic justice tip on the side of mercy and love. The rider on the black horse shows no care for the poor. But Jesus does! And he commands us to do likewise. Jesus also says to those who follow his example: “Come . . . [into] the kingdom prepared for you. . . . For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. . . .” (Matthew 25:35-40).
Thank you, Jesus, for teaching us to care for people who are hungry. Lord, give us today our daily bread. Amen.