Night Visions Part 1

March 8, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Posted in Zechariah | 5 Comments
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On February 15, 519 B.C., Zechariah had a series of eight night visions. The first was a vision of a Man on a red horse, the Angel of the Lord (Christ) leading an army of men on red and speckled and white horses.

Upon the four and twentieth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Sebat, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying, I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in the bottom; and behind him were there red horses, speckled, and white.

Zechariah 1:7-8

An interpreting angel explained to Zechariah that Christ was interceding on behalf of the Jewish people with the Gentile nations.

The second vision was a vision of horns and carpenters, again dealing with the Gentile nations which had chastened Judah. These nations had built upon each other, but the Lord will one day restore Jerusalem.

The third vision is a vision of measuring and reclaiming ownership, and of the Lord preparing again to dwell with His people.

I lifted up mine eyes again, and looked, and behold a man with a measuring line in his hand.

Zechariah 2:1

For I, saith the LORD, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her.

Zechariah 2:5

Zechariah 2:8 contains one of our modern common expressions: “For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.” The apple is the pupil: pupilla, or “little doll.” But it is also the part of the eye which reflects. A teacher sees a reflection of himself in the eye of a student, and students sometimes bring their teachers apples.

Zerubbabel was the governor and Joshua was the high priest. In the fourth vision, there is a courtroom trial.

And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.

Zechariah 3:1

Joshua is on trial. Satan is the prosecutor. Jesus is the defense attorney, and God is the judge. We know the outcome: Joshua’s attorney stands before His client to take the punishment on Himself.

And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.

Zechariah 3:4

The vision concludes with two pictures: one of the priestly ministry of Christ as the Branch – the Messiah Who would save His people and be their One True High Priest; the other of Christ as the Stone. A stone can be a stumblingblock or a building material. It can be smitten or used to smite. It can be rejected or received. Christ the Stone is like a diamond. A diamond with facets can be turned toward the light to show its multiple beauties, and there is beauty from every angle. But eventually a flaw will appear in even the most perfect diamond. That is where the analogy ends, for Christ has no flaws, and God’s will has no flaws. If a rock formed in the ground can possess seemingly limitless beauty, how much more beautiful and eternal is the glory of God!

And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep,

Zechariah 4:1

Either Zechariah was having a really rough night, or these visions were just plain exhausting! I suspect the latter. Seeing visions from God and understanding their meaning wore Daniel out. We should be suspicious of those who claim prophetic visions with a flippant attitude.

The next vision was the vision of the candlestick and the olive trees. The candlestick, or lampstand, represented Christ (the Light of the World). It also represented God’s people, the nation of Israel. The two olive trees represented Joshua the priest and Zerubbabel the governor. From this vision we get the oft-quoted Bible verse:

Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.

Zechariah 4:6

Solomon had might (military) and power (wealth). Zerubbabel had neither – but he had God’s Spirit. He would not be known (like Solomon) for the “wisdom of Zerubbabel” or the “wealth of Zerubbabel.” He would be known as the one who God’s Spirit worked through to bring glory to God. We can try to do the work of the Lord three ways:

1. In our own strength (our own wisdom, our own way)

2. By borrowing the world’s resources

Both of these may look successful at the outset, but they are doomed to fail. Or,

3. By depending upon the power of God

This third way guarantees success.

Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.

Zechariah 4:7

When God’s Spirit takes over, it may look like we moved the mountain, but God gets the glory. The only thing “great” about “great men and women of God” are the grace-gifts bestowed upon them by God. The smaller, the weaker, the more broken the thing He uses, the more glory He gets.

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