Sunday, September 21, 2008

Visions and More Visions

September 21: Zechariah 1-7

8 “I saw in the night, and behold, a man riding on a red horse! He was standing among the myrtle trees in the glen, and behind him were red, sorrel, and white horses.

18 And I lifted my eyes and saw, and behold, four horns!
Zechariah 1:8 & 18

1 And I lifted my eyes and saw, and behold, a man with a measuring line in his hand! 2 Then I said, “Where are you going?” And he said to me, “To measure Jerusalem, to see what is its width and what is its length.” 3 And behold, the angel who talked with me came forward, and another angel came forward to meet him 4 and said to him, “Run, say to that young man, ‘Jerusalem shall be inhabited as villages without walls, because of the multitude of people and livestock in it. 5 And I will be to her a wall of fire all around, declares the Lord, and I will be the glory in her midst.’”
Zechariah 2:1-5

1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. 2 And the Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, O Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is not this a brand plucked from the fire?”
Zechariah 3:1-2

1 And the angel who talked with me came again and woke me, like a man who is awakened out of his sleep. 2 And he said to me, “What do you see?” I said, “I see, and behold, a lampstand all of gold, with a bowl on the top of it, and seven lamps on it, with seven lips on each of the lamps that are on the top of it.
Zechariah 4:1-2

1 Again I lifted my eyes and saw, and behold, a flying scroll! 2 And he said to me, “What do you see?” I answered, “I see a flying scroll. Its length is twenty cubits, and its width ten cubits.” 3 Then he said to me, “This is the curse that goes out over the face of the whole land. For everyone who steals shall be cleaned out according to what is on one side, and everyone who swears falsely shall be cleaned out according to what is on the other side.

5 Then the angel who talked with me came forward and said to me, “Lift your eyes and see what this is that is going out.” 6 And I said, “What is it?” He said, “This is the basket that is going out.” And he said, “This is their iniquity in all the land.”
Zechariah 5:1-3 & 5-6

1 Again I lifted my eyes and saw, and behold, four chariots came out from between two mountains. And the mountains were mountains of bronze. 2 The first chariot had red horses, the second black horses, 3 the third white horses, and the fourth chariot dappled horses—all of them strong. 4 Then I answered and said to the angel who talked with me, “What are these, my lord?” 5 And the angel answered and said to me, “These are going out to the four winds of heaven, after presenting themselves before the Lord of all the earth.
Zechariah 6:1-5

Visions and More Visions

In the first seven chapters of the book of Zechariah, the Lord sends to the prophet vision after vision. As I read through them, I began to see one general theme bringing them all together into a single message. God's people sinned, God afflicted His people, God punished the nations who captured and abused His people, God called His people to return to Jerusalem and to return to Him, and God promised victory and protection for His people.

In Zechariah we are brought to see the "real" world; the world in which God rules supreme. We see Satan accusing Joshua, the high priest; in response God takes away his filthy garments and clothes him in pure white. In another vision, God sends four horsemen to patrol the entire earth, and in another God builds a wall of fire around Jerusalem.

Through Christ, we have an advocate before God, the Father. Just as Joshua's filthy garments, representing sin, were removed from Him, and replaced with garments of pure white, our sin has also been removed before the sight of God. Christ, through His death for our sins, has removed our filthy sinful garments and replaced them with sinless robes of pure white. Does that mean we do not sin? No, unfortunately sin will be with us while we remain on this present earth; Christ, however, has covered our sins with His own blood so that God sees the righteousness of Christ upon us.

Do you think God's four horsemen only existed in Zechariah's day? Do you think God still patrols the earth in our day as well? We are so busy living our lives that we forget that we only see a portion of the real picture; God and His angels are continually at war with Satan and his angels. This war is taking place right now! God's protection remains upon His people; not one child of God is forgotten.

The angel of God, in another vision, is measuring Jerusalem to see if it will hold all of the people. This was rather strange in Zechariah's time because there were so few inhabitants of Jerusalem that there was no problem fitting everyone in the city. The angel, here, is speaking of a time to come when all of God's people will be gathered together in Jerusalem. There will be so many that they will overflow its boundaries, at which time God will build a wall of protective fire around the people so that none may reach His children.

As we think of these three particular visions of Zechariah--Satan accusing Joshua, the horsemen patrolling the world, and God protecting Jerusalem with a wall of fire--let us remember that we are really just a small part of the "real" world. Though this war that we cannot see rages on, we need not fear because our God has already won! So, read through these visions and more visions and thank God for His saving grace and eternal protection of His people.

God Bless You,
Linda

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

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