Zechariah the Prophet

February 13, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Posted in Zechariah | Leave a comment
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The first Biblical words of Zechariah the prophet were plain-spoken words and they were a call to repentance. Later he began to pronounce his dreams and visions and prophecies of mercy. We need this kind of preaching in the Church today. People are enamored of the supernatural and of the idea that God would charm people with special words of prophecy about the future – especially if these prophecies foretell the mercy of God. But God’s mercy means little to its recipients without a realistic understanding of how God is “sore displeased” (Zechariah 1:2) with our sin.

Here are the previous lessons on the Book of Zechariah:

Where Are They Now?
Night Visions Part 1
Night Visions Part 2
Beware the Feminine Force
Night Visions Part 3 (*)
The Possessiveness of God
Listening with One Ear (Zechariah 7)
Order in the Church
Jesus the Great
The True Shepherd Vs. The Evil Shepherd
The Cleansing Fountain

* most popular post in category

The Possessiveness of God

April 6, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Posted in Zechariah | 6 Comments
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Lord, please make those of us who have received Christ to be a people that do not love the world. Help us to crucify our love for material things. Help us to use the gifts You’ve given us not as toys to play with, nor as weapons to fight each other with, nor as trophies to admire – but as tools to build with for Your glory. In the Name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.

Zechariah Chapter 7 tells us that, once the walls and the Temple had been rebuilt, the people wanted to know from Zechariah if they needed to continue celebrating the fast that commemorated the burning of the Temple.

Then came the word of the LORD of hosts unto me, saying, Speak unto all the people of the land, and to the priests, saying, When ye fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh month, even those seventy years, did ye at all fast unto me, even to me? And when ye did eat, and when ye did drink, did not ye eat for yourselves, and drink for yourselves?

Zechariah 7:4-6

Traditions are often good, even though traditionalism is bad. We have about 2000 years of Christian tradition, documented history, and writings. Even more important than that, we have the immutable Word of God. No Scripture is of private interpretation. If my interpretation disagrees with 1900 of the 2000 years of Christian scholarship, it does not automatically mean my interpretation is wrong, but it certainly means that we should scrutinize my interpretation very carefully in light of the Bible. For the people in Zechariah’s time, God did not want to address the issue of the fasts that commemorated tragedies right away. First He wanted them to know that it’s more important to repent of the sins that caused the tragedies.

Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother: And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart.

Zechariah 7:9-10

In Zechariah 8 God begins to speak through Zechariah, not as if this was a starting-over of His covenants, but as if this was a renewing of His covenants.

Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury. Thus saith the LORD; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain.

Zechariah 8:2-3

It is as if God is saying, “You’ve been away from Me, and I had to chasten You. But I am a jealous God. I am jealous of my people, and I am coming back.” It was a great blessing for the Lord’s presence to dwell among His people, for it meant that they were safe. But He is not speaking euphemistically when He says “My” people. These people were His favorites. They belonged to Him – He owned them. He considered them to be married to Him.

It is a terrible thing to cheat on an earthly spouse, but people do it and take their chances. To cheat on a jealous God Who rules the universe is another matter – far more serious. This doctrine of “I will be your God, and you will be My people” runs all through Scripture.

And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness.

Zechariah 8:8

This is the love of God. He loves His people. He doesn’t plead with them to know that He is God – He wants to be their God. And He does not need to change so the people will like Him better. He must give His people a new heart because sinful hearts are not just indifferent about God. They are God-hating and God-mocking.

As Christians, we live on promises, not explanations. When I am sick, I go to the doctor and I want him to give me medicine, not a medical book. The love of God is beyond our ability to explain. But we must receive it by faith. Looking in the mirror of God’s Word and seeing my sin, and believing by faith that God loves me, is a great miracle. We will be His people and He will be our God.

The Lord answers the questions about the fasts in Zechariah 8:19: “Thus saith the LORD of hosts; The fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, shall be to the house of Judah joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts; therefore love the truth and peace.” His answer is that fasting will turn into feasting.

Night Visions Part 3

March 25, 2010 at 9:51 am | Posted in Zechariah | 4 Comments
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Zechariah Chapter 5 contains the vision that I like to call “The Legend of the Flying Scroll.” The other vision in Chapter 5 is the woman in the bushel basket. She wants to get out, but a talent of lead is placed on her, and she is carried to Babylon by two angels. She originally represents the idolatry of female gods. The Hebrew word for “wickedness” is a feminine-form word.

The years in Babylon had seemed to cure Israel of idolatry. What remained was the commercialism bred by the practice of idolatry. This is one reason why Babylon is referenced in the New Testament as the world system. The world cares little if you worship false gods – its motivation is to make a profit. Money, material wealth, toys, and the false security of finances are the new gods of the modern world. The love of money is the root of all evil.

Zechariah Chapter 6 gives us the last of Zechariah’s night visions – the vision of the four chariots and horses. These horses delivered judgment to the Gentile nations. This will occur during the “Day of the Lord” (the Tribulation).

Then the Lord tells Zechariah that three wealthy men are coming from Babylon to bring the funds to finish the temple.

Take of them of the captivity, even of Heldai, of Tobijah, and of Jedaiah, which are come from Babylon, and come thou the same day, and go into the house of Josiah the son of Zephaniah; Then take silver and gold, and make crowns, and set them upon the head of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest;

Zechariah 6:10-11

So Zechariah obeys the Lord and takes their silver and gold and makes a (multi-tiered) crown, and he crowns Joshua king. This is the first time in the Bible we see a priest being crowned king. When this happens it is symbolic of Christ, and it reminds us of Melchizedek, encountered by Abram in Genesis 14. He was also a priest and king combined in one, and a foreshadowing of Christ, Who is the True Great High Priest and the One True King over all kings.

Zechariah’s crowning of Joshua is also noteworthy because God judged Uzziah for trying to combine the priesthood with the kingship.

And the crowns shall be to Helem, and to Tobijah, and to Jedaiah, and to Hen the son of Zephaniah, for a memorial in the temple of the LORD.

Zechariah 6:14

Zechariah’s visions occurred on February 15, 519, or 517 B.C. Sebat (Shevat) is the 11th month. It begins in January-February of the common calendar year, so the 24th day would be what most of us call February 15.


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