Sunday July 11 2021

CALL TO WORSHIP

1 CHRONICLES 16:23-31

23 Sing to the LORD, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day.

 

24 Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. 

 

25 For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods.

 

26 For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the LORD made the heavens. 

 

27 Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his dwelling place. 

 

28 Ascribe to the LORD, all you families of nations, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. 

 

29 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him. Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness. 

 

30 Tremble before him, all the earth! The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved. 

 

31 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let them say among the nations, “The LORD reigns!”

 

SONG 1 – Come

SONG 2 – Days of Elijah

READING # 629 Red Hymnal – together. (The Lord’s Prayer)

 

 

Announcements, collection and prayer.

SONG 3 – Great is Thy Faithfulness

MESSAGE – Zechariah part two.

A couple of weeks ago I began a study of the book of Zechariah. In it I mentioned the critical importance of vision, and we applied it to our situation here at Ohsweken.

We quoted Proverbs 29:18,

“Where there is no vision, the people perish”

I encouraged our fellowship to consider our vision for our meeting place. I trust we will all keep this thought in the forefront of our prayers and meditations.

As we return this week to Zechariah – a book that deals with the future – I hope we can look forward to our own future here at Ohsweken.

Allow me to give some insights into the imagery of this prophetic Old Testament book.

The book of Revelation is a book of “sevens:” the book of Zechariah is a book of “fours.”

  • There are 4×2=8 visions
  • 4 horses
  • 4 horns
  • 4 craftsmen
  • 4 winds
  • 4 chariots
  • 4 clauses in 3:7
  • 4 persons in 6:14
  • 4 fast days in 8
  • 4 aspects of 4-fold guilt in 7
  • 4 admonitions in 8
  • 4 punishments in 8
  • 4 pronouncements in 8:12
  • 4 cities
  • 4 verbs affecting those cities
  • 4 groups of things
  • 4 lamentations in 11
  • 4 animals in 14:15

And if we studied deeper we would probably find 4×7=28 such 4s. 1

Our readers can check out for themselves the Biblical significance of the number 4.

The book of Zechariah is the longest of the “twelve minor prophets.” Minor in that they are shorter prophetic books than that of the major prophets, not minor in terms of message.

This book is the most frequently quoted “minor prophet’ by the New Testament.

It is also the most Messianic of the minor prophets.

  • Messiah would ride in on a donkey – Zech. 9:9 = Matthew 21:1-9; John 12:12-16.
  • His betrayal for 30 pieces of silver – Zech. 11:12-13 = Matthew 27:3-10.
  • And who also gets the money – the potter.
  • The piercing of His body – Zech. 12:10 = John 19:37.
  • Strike the shepherd – Zech. 13:7
  • The Branch – Zech. 3:8;6:12; Isaiah 4:2;11:1; 53:2; Jeremiah 23:5; 33:15 = Matthew 2:23.

The prophet Zechariah was a contemporary of the prophet Haggai

We are introduced to this Zechariah’s family lineage.

Zechariah means “Jehovah remembers.”

Son of Berechiah means “Jehovah blesses.”

Grandson of Iddo means “the appointed time” or “timely.”

So, “Jehovah remembers and blesses at the appointed time.”

Names are most significant in Scripture – they often tell their own story!

Recall the meanings of the names of the first ten patriarchs from Adam to Noah?

Adam Man
Seth Appointed
Enosh Mortal
Kenan Sorrow;
Mahalalel The Blessed God
Jared Shall come down
Enoch Teaching
Methuselah His death shall bring
Lamech The Despairing
Noah Rest, or comfort.

Be sure that GOD remembers you and blesses you at an appointed time. It has been said: “GOD’s timing is worth the wait.”

The Old Testament doesn’t tell us how Zechariah died but Jesus told us! In Matthew 23:35 (and Luke 11:51) we read:

“That upon you may come all the righteous blood

Shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel

Unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias,

Whom you slew between the temple and the altar.”

Since the early 50s the church has been inundated with the perversion of those adhering to the so called “scholarly criticism,” who attack the prophets just as vehemently as did the Scribes and Pharisees of the Old Testament times through to the time of Jesus, questioning the authenticity of authorship of most of the prophet’s writings.

I have to wonder, “Is this what you chose to spend your life’s work on?” Criticising the written word of God. Delving into grammatical construct, word usage and the like, attempting to prove some obscure point?

In this case, as in many others, all they needed do was to hear what Jesus said concerning Zechariah!

From Abel to Zechariah, the first to the last recorded of the Old Testament Martyrs, killed. Both innocent, both murdered by “family.” Both murdered by the religious ones. (Cain was religious as were Scribes and Pharisees.) And the blood of both plus all the innocent prophets between, to be required of the generation that rejected Jesus.

And it will be required on the heads of these scholarly critics today for all the confusion and doubt they have sown into the body of Christ. Tares among the wheat!

Zechariah, the prophet, is at the end of the Old Testament and another Zechariah is at the start of the New Testament: Luke 1:5-25, 57-59.

Zechariah was a prophet and a priest as was the Zechariah of the New Testament.

Zechariah is a very common name in Scripture and the one that opens the New Testament was the father of John the Baptist. His wife was Elizabeth.

Elizabeth = “His oath.” So Zechariah + Elizabeth = “Jehovah remembers His oath.”

Returning to our Old Testament Zechariah he received all eight visions in a single night! Whew!

Vision One – the four horses: Zechariah 1:8-17

“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 red horses, speckled and white.

Then said I, O my lord what are these? And the angel that talked to me said unto me, I will show you what these be.

And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said,

These are they whom the LORD has sent to walk to and fro through the earth.

And they answered the angel of the LORD that stood among the myrtle trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold,

all the earth sits still and is at rest.

Then the angel of the LORD answered and said, O LORD of hosts, how long will you not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which you have had indignation these seventy years?

And the LORD answered the angel that talked with me with good words and comforting words. So the angel which communed with me said unto me, Cry thou saying, thus says the LORD of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy. And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased; and they helped forward the affliction.

Therefore, thus says the LORD; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies:

My house shall be built in it, says the LORD of hosts, and a line

will stretch forth upon Jerusalem.

Cry yet, saying, Thus says the LORD of hosts; my cities through prosperity will be spread abroad; and the LORD will yet comfort Zion and will yet choose Jerusalem.”

This was a vision, Zechariah was awake, it was not a dream.

Among the myrtle trees. Myrtle = Esther (Hadassah in Esther 2:7)

Myrtle was used in the building of the booths for the Feast of the Tabernacles: Lev. 23:33-44; Nehemiah 8:15.

This suggest the Millennium as we will then be with the LORD, tabernacled. See Isaiah 41:19; 55:13.

This person as stated in 1:11 is Jesus – a pre-incarnate appearance.

Jesus is looking out for the nation of Israel.  During their 70 year expulsion from the land to Babylon for failing to observe all that the LORD GOD says.

The horses here are red, sorrel and white according to verse 8.

These horses have no direct connection to those of Revelation.

Red = war and judgment; white righteousness, mercy and peace; sorrel, not even sure of this colour – brown, tawny, bay, bright red piebald, speckled? The word is only found here in Scripture. It is from a Hebrew root word meaning to hiss, whistle or pipe.

The phrase “to and fro” is also used of the raven that Noah sent out from the ark, Genesis 8:7. And for the eyes of the Lord from 2 Chronicles 16:9 and as the seven eyes of the Lord here in Zechariah 4:10. Satan also is mentioned in this way in Job 1:7; 2:2

Another interesting “to and fro” is recorded in Amos 8:12 in referring to those vainly seeking the Word of the Lord. Reminds me of scholarly criticism.

These horses were patrolling the events, and movements, and the happenings of earth during the time of Israel’s expulsion to Babylon.

We have no idea of the spiritual reality beyond our seeing. As Ephesians 6:12 reminds us,

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places.”

Jesus was watching over Israel during their servitude. The world was at rest and in peace while Israel suffered.

GOD was definitely unhappy with the heathen for their treatment of His people. True, He expelled them as a punishment but as always the Gentile nations went over and above in their harsh treatment of the helpless Jewish people.

Israelites were in turmoil, they had no temple, no city walls, no worship ceremonies, and the people around them were against them; “kicking them while they were down.”

It is during this interval that the prophet sends words of comfort and hope.

His words of comfort – “I am jealous for Jerusalem.”

“I am exceedingly angry with the nations.” Literally “I am angry with anger” or “angry with wrath.”

GOD will judge the nations regarding their treatment of the nation of Israel. See Matthew 25:31-46. Also most prophetic books specify how each nation will be judged for its treatment of Israel.

The phrase “LORD of hosts” is used some 52 times in Zechariah, an identifying name for God, which is a phrase that stresses the transcendence of GOD.

A word of clarification. Jealousy verses covetousness. Coveting is desiring something that doesn’t belong to you whereas jealousy is desiring something that does belong to you. Israel, Jerusalem and the land,  are the LORD’s, He created all three and has placed His name upon each.

In verse 16 we have the phrase, “and a line will stretch forth upon Jerusalem.” This is an idiom for determining the extent and sanctity and authenticity of a place or structure. In Revelation we see a similar picture at the beginning of chapter 11 where the prophet was given a measuring rod and instructed to measure the temple of God and the altar and them that worship there. But he was to leave out the outer court of the Gentiles.

These eight visions were given in one night, the 24th day of the 11th month. When God attends to specific dating there is always an exciting discovery behind the date. Visions are dated precisely whereas comments are not.2  Search the Scriptures for other occasions that occurred on this specific date and see what you can find.  As an example, Noah’s ark came to rest on the 17th day of the 7th month. Much later this turns out to be the 17th of Nisan the very day of the resurrection of Christ signally a new beginning and new life! Amen.

SONG 4 – He is Exalted

BENEDICTION.  From 2Thess. 2:16-17

“MAY OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF AND GOD OUR FATHER, WHO LOVED US AND BY HIS GRACE GAVE US ETERNAL ENCOURAGEMENT AND GOOD HOPE, ENCOURAGE YOUR HEARTS AND STRENGTHEN YOU IN EVERY GOOD DEED AND WORD. “ Go in peace.

1 Chuck Missler Zechariah

2  ibid

 

 

 

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