Yesterday we read both chapters of the little book of Haggai, and heard how Haggai motivated his discouraged audience to return to the task of rebuilding the temple. Haggai certainly must have known and worked with our next author— Zechariah.
There are at least 27 men named Zechariah in the Old Testament. The name means ‘Yahweh remembers’. This book— remarkable for its surrealistic visions and vivid poetic images, is sometimes called the ‘Apocalypse of the Old Testament’. Since we are also reading Revelation, you will get a double dose of this genre.
Mears gives this interesting comment, and this is something I suggest we watch for as we read this book:
Someone has said that to correctly read the visions of this book, you must shine two lights on them— the light of the cross and the light of the crown. Otherwise, you will find that you don’t have the proper perspective or background to understand Zechariah’s visions. The prophet, looking far into the future, saw two aspects of the future Messiah— one Person, but two appearances. First, he saw Him in humiliation and suffering; then he saw Him in majesty and great glory. Jewish people who do not believe that Jesus is the Messiah ignore the Christ of the cross. Christians too often ignore the Christ of the crown. Both are wrong.
Although chapter 58 didn’t use the word ‘hypocrisy’, that is what God was preaching against. After telling us the kind of fasting that God desires most, God gave beautiful promises to those who live as He teaches.
Following the 7th trumpet blast in chapter 11, the vision in chapter 12 is an overview. The woman who gives birth to ‘he who will rule the nations with a rod of iron’ is not a picture of Mary. This is an overview. I encourage you to dig deeper to find out more about the picture of the glorious woman. I will give you my take about the dragon’s seven heads and seven crowns. The dragon, as we will see will do his best to masquerade as God. He is doing that right now in our day! Look out, and don’t be fooled! An important foundational teaching in that chapter is to explain about the source of the spiritual battle we now see being played out in the world.
GNT Translation note:
Zech. 1:9 I asked him, “Sir, what do these horses [and riders] mean?” He answered, “I will show you what they mean.
Rev. 13:10 Whoever is meant to be captured will surely be captured; whoever is meant to be killed by the sword will surely be killed by the sword. This calls for endurance and [full belief//faith] on the part of God's people.”
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