Sunday August 15 2021

OBEDIENCE TO HIS WORD

Scripture – Zechariah 5:1-4

“Then I turned and lifted up my eyes, and looked, and behold a flying roll. [scroll]

And he said unto me, What do you see?

And I answered, I see a flying scroll; the length is 20 cubits and the width is 10 cubits.”

Then he said to me, This is the curse that goes over the face of the whole earth:

for everyone that steals will be cut off as on this side according to it;

and everyone that swears will be cut off as on that side according to it.

I will bring it forth, says the LORD of hosts, and it will enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him that swears falsely by My name:

And it will remain in the midst of his house, and will consume it

down to the timber and the stones.”

This is the sixth of the eight visions given to the prophet Zechariah during one night – the flying scroll.

You may notice that the tone of the visions has now changed. Whereas the previous five visions were ones of comfort and encouragement these remaining three visions, beginning with this one, concern judgment.

God is a holy God and cannot overlook sin for long. Consider Hebrews 4:12 as it reminds us,

“For the word of GOD is quick [alive] and powerful, and sharper

than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder

of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

This flying scroll represents the Word of God, alive, moving, and carrying a curse to all who defy its instruction. This scroll may be similar in some aspects to the scroll of Revelation with its seven seals but this one is quite different especially with regards to its size. More on possible similarities in a moment.

This flying scroll is massive – 10 cubits by 20 cubits. (about 15 feet by 30 feet)

How is it that Zechariah knew the dimensions?

The reason for telling you today these dimensions in cubits is so that you may make the connect to the fact that these dimensions are those of the Holy Place in the Tabernacle.1 The total dimensions of the Tabernacle were 10 x 30 cubits with the small room, the Most Holy Place, being 10 x 10 cubits.

So, Most Holy Place, 10×10 cubits, Holy Place 10×20 cubits [size for this scroll], for a total of 10 x 30 cubits.

This is also the dimensions of Solomon’s Porch as per 1 Kings 6:3.

Notice also, there was writings on both sides of this flying scroll.

“for everyone that steals will be cut off as on this side according to it;

and everyone that swears will be cut off as on that side according to it.”

This side and that side, both sides.

Even though one side of a parchment or stone was better for writing, there are a few items in Scripture that are written on both sides. This scroll, the seven-sealed scroll of Revelation, the scroll given to Ezekiel to eat2  and the 10 commandments.3

Scrolls and curses.

 In our Zechariah reference for this 6th vision, the flying scroll is identified as,

“This is the curse that goes over the face of the whole earth:”

 

Now Christ has redeemed us according to Galations 3:13,

“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us.”

We are saved by accepting and believing the Word of GOD, both the spoken/written word and the Living Word. And these are basically the same thing! Did not Jesus say, “Search the Scriptures they speak of me.” When one rejects the spoken word of God they fall under a curse, because the RESIDE outside of the blessing.4  Out from under His wings!

“For God sent not His Son into the world to  condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:17.

So, “This is the curse that goes over the face of the whole earth” is the Word of God coming in judgment. Curses and judgment are often associated with the rejection of the Word of God.

As the seven seals of the scroll of Revelation are opened, curses are revealed. And upon close study you should notice that these curses are man-made due to a rejection of God’s ways and word.

With both the scrolls of Ezekiel and with John, as they both take a scroll from the hand of an angel and instructed to eat the scroll, both taste as honey in the prophets’ mouths. This is because these two scrolls contain the perfect sweet Word of God.

Upon digestion, the prophets’ stomachs turn sour because the consequences of rejecting God’s sweet ways are disastrous.

Listen to both accounts. First John from Revelation 10:8-11.

“Then the voice from heaven spoke to me again: Go, and take the open scroll from the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land. So I went to the angel and told him, to give me the small scroll. Yes, take it, and eat it, he said. It will be sweet as honey in your mouth, but it will turn sour in your stomach! So I took the small scroll from the hand of the angel, and ate it! It was sweet in my mouth, but when I swallowed it, it turned sour in my stomach. Then I was told, You must prophecy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings.”

And the second account from Ezekiel 2:9-3:3

“And when I looked, behold, a hand was sent unto me: and lo, a scroll of a book was therein, And he spread it before me; and it was written within and without: and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe. Moreover, he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou finds; eat this scroll, and go speak unto the house of Israel. So I opened my mouth and he caused me to eat the scroll. And he said unto me, Son of man, cause your belly to eat, and fill your bowels with this scroll that I give you. Then I did eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.”

Ezekiel was then instructed to take this word to the people of Israel but to be prepared to be rejected. God informs him that the people will not listen to you the prophet because they would not listen to God.

So the sweetness of God’s word would turn sour and judgment and calamity would follow the peoples’ choice.

The Psalms are filled with statements as to the goodness of God’s laws, and statutes and commandment – the sweetness of God’s word.

And the same holds for John the apostle when he tastes the sweetness of God’s word but must yet go to many nations, and peoples, and languages and kings, and digest the bitterness of their rejection of the LORD.

This is a flying scroll going throughout the earth carrying the curses relating to the world’s rejection of God’s word.

Well, let’s lengthen our shovel handles and dig a little deeper.

So, this scroll has the dimensions of the Holy Place and so should direct our attention there.

These dimensions relating to the Tabernacle, speak of the rejection of God’s provision of grace and mercy as embodied in the Tabernacle and specifically to the blood atonement. Serious business.

Let’s now focus upon the phase in Zechariah 5:3 containing the words “this side and that side.”

This scroll was written upon both sides. And it seems that the LORD has selected two specific items of the 10 commandments that speak to man’s rejection of His word.

The two specific commandments, “and it will enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him that swears falsely by My name:” have been highlighted in this passage.

The one who steals – the thief, and the one who swears falsely by His name.

If we were to make a 2-column list of the 10 commandments into two groups of five each we discover something that may relate to Zechariah here.5

The center commandment of the first five is #3 and this states:

“Thou shall not take the name of the LORD they GOD in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that takes his name in vain.”

The center commandment of the second five is #8 and this states:

“Thou shall not steal.”

There is one commandment taken from each of the two columns and it is the central commandment of each column. Significant? Not sure, but God says here that the curse will remain in the midst (center) of the man’s house who violates these two centrally placed commandments. It is at least, a fascinating parallel.

These two commands are being used here to represent the collective whole. The curse is upon all who reject God’s law, God’s word, and God’s provision of grace, mercy and blood atonement.

Listen to the admonitions of the LORD GOD as outlined in Deuteronomy 28:1, 15.

“And it shall come to pass, if you will hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy GOD, to observe and do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy GOD will set thee on high above all the nations of the earth: and all these blessings will come upon thee, and overtake thee, if you will hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy GOD.”

“But it will come to pass, if you will not hearken to the voice of the LORD thy GOD, to observe all of his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day, that all these curses will come upon thee, and overtake you:”

The Jewish people were given a choice and they swore to follow all of His commandments. How often we heard the people cry, All that the LORD commands us we will do.” A false swearing in His name.

We today, face the same choices day by day. It is true that we have been freed from the curse of the law but we miss manifold blessings when we forget to apply His word to our lives and actions and then find ourselves outside of the covering of blessings.

I do not want to move away from His sure word into a realm of doubt and unbelief where the enemy rules and curses abound. (Repeat)

Jesus gave a stark warning in John 12:48.

“He that rejects me, and does not receive my words, has one that judges him”

The word that I have spoken, the same will judge him on the last day.”

The flying scroll going throughout the earth judging every word and action.

And it is not only His word spoken but also our own words spoken. Listen to Matthew 12:36.

“But I say unto you, That every idle word that men will speak, they will give account thereof in the day of judgment.”

“May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, Oh LORD, my strength and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

“Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against You.”

Psalm 119:11

Let us turn to Psalm 139 in the NIV Bible and read in unison to close this service.

Psalm 139

1

Psalm 139 For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

1

O LORD, you have searched me and you know me.

2

You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.

3

You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.

4

Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.

5

You hem me in–behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.

6

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

7

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?

8

If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, [1] you are there.

9

If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,

10

even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

11

If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”

12

even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.

 

13

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

14

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

15

My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16

your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

17

How precious to [2] me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!

18

Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you.

19

If only you would slay the wicked, O God! Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!

20

They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name.

21

Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD, and abhor those who rise up against you?

22

I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies.

23

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.

24

See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Amen.

 

1 Exodus 26:15-25

2   Ezekiel 2:9-3:3

3 Exodus 32:15

Deuteronomy 11:26-28

5  Chuck Missler Zechariah and Jeff Blake Oxbrook.org

 

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