Today’s reading: Zechariah 1-7.
God’s patience is unlimited, but with the return of the exiles it feels like he hit the fast forward button, sweeping out the old and preparing for the new. Zechariah’s prophetic visions reflect the frenzy and outline God’s plan for renewal. The next to last Old Testament book paves the way for the New Testament.
First vision: Horsemen. God is watching over the Jews and the world in order to show compassion to Jerusalem and Zion.
Second vision: Horns. God will remove the horns (nations) that plundered Jerusalem.
Third vision: Man with a measuring line. God will carry out his design to restore Jerusalem.
Fourth vision: Joshua the priest’s filthy garments. God will purify his leaders, symbolic of the cleansing that will come to all his people.
” ‘Listen, O high priest Joshua and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic of things to come: I am going to bring my servant, the Branch. See, the stone I have set in front of Joshua! There are seven eyes on that one stone, and I will engrave an inscription on it,’ says the LORD Almighty, ‘and I will remove the sin of this land in a single day.’ ” Zechariah 3:8-9
God’s plan for the future centers around his servant, the Branch. Isaiah (chapter 11) said the Branch would grow out of Jesse’s stump and have the spirit of the LORD. Jeremiah (chapter 23) said he was the righteous branch raised up for David to rule as king. God will restore Jerusalem so the Branch may come and perform his ministry of removing sin. He will do it in a single day, perhaps signifying the day of his sacrificial death, or looking forward to a future day when all the Jews will profess faith in him.
Fifth vision: Lampstand and Olive Trees. The spirit of God, not human will or power, will be the driving force behind God’s plan to restore Jerusalem and prepare the way for the Messiah. God will use his people as a light to the nations.
Sixth vision: Flying Scroll. God’s word as exemplified by the Ten Commandments will go forth to remove sin from individuals.
Seventh vision: Woman in a Basket. God will remove the sin and wickedness of the nation and carry it away to Babylon, the home of wickedness.
Eighth vision: Four chariots. God’s messengers go out to accomplish God’s will throughout the world, most likely a work of judgment.
The coronation. The crowning of Joshua, the high priest, foretells of the coming of the priest-king, Jesus (Yeshua).
Here is the comfort of every believer in the Lord Jesus; let the work of grace be ever so small in its beginnings, the plummet is in good hands, a master builder greater than Solomon has undertaken the raising of the heavenly temple, and He will not fail nor be discouraged till the topmost pinnacle shall be raised. If the plummet were in the hand of any merely human being, we might fear for the building, but the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in Jesus’ hand. The works did not proceed irregularly, and without care, for the master’s hand carried a good instrument. Had the walls been hurriedly run up without due superintendence, they might have been out of the perpendicular; but the plummet was used by the chosen overseer. Jesus is evermore watching the erection of His spiritual temple, that it may be built securely and well. We are for haste, but Jesus is for judgment. He will use the plummet, and that which is out of line must come down, every stone of it. Hence the failure of many a flattering work, the overthrow of many a glittering profession. It is not for us to judge the Lord’s church, since Jesus has a steady hand, and a true eye, and can use the plummet well. Do we not rejoice to see judgment left to Him? Charles Spurgeon
Image by Squiggle on Flickr, CC by-nc-sa 2.0