Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it address the person who is: Empty, lonely, guilty, or afraid to die? Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it
build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision Is the church loved? Regular:2900 wordsCommunion: 2500 words
We will have a cartoon that starts at 6:55, and the movie will start at
Baptism / Ice bucket challenge
Have you been baptized since you became a believer?
We are grateful for your parents who might have had you baptized as a baby,
but the New Testament teaches that baptism is for those who believe – those who
have made a choice to follow Jesus.That
doesn’t quite fit the baby thing…
Baptism doesn’t save you, but baptism is commanded
We believe baptism is a chance to show the world in symbolic terms what God
has done for you – Jesus dying and being raised.
Just for fun this year – I’ve been challenged to
do the ALS ice bucket thing (thanks Greg Bird!), so I’m going to do it after
The background to Zechariah, like that of Haggai, is
found in the book of Ezra.
After having been captive in Babylon for seventy years, the Jews are given permission to return to Jerusalem and rebuild
their Temple in Jerusalem.
When the Temple construction is stopped, it was Haggai
and Zechariah who began to prophesy and encourage the people to finish the
Temple. (Ezra 5:1-2)
After the people began to build,
opposition arose from their enemies, and for a period of 15 years, the Temple
construction was halted.
It was then that God raised up two prophets, Haggai and Zechariah, who began to
encourage the people to get back to work and make God’s House a priority.
(Ezra 5:1–2 NKJV) —1 Then the prophet Haggai and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophets, prophesied to the Jews who were in
Judah and Jerusalem, in the name of the God of Israel, who was over
them. 2 So Zerubbabel the
son of Shealtiel and Jeshua
the son of Jozadak rose up and began to build the
house of God whichis in Jerusalem; and the
prophets of God were with them, helping them.
It was under the ministry of Haggai
and Zechariah that the work got stirred up again.
The Temple won’t be complete until
March 12, 515 BC (Ezr 6:15-18)
The prophecies of Zechariah are given during the
years of 520-618 BC.
One of the key distinctions of the book of Zechariah is the amount of
prophecy about the coming Messiah.
Except for the prophet Isaiah, there are more prophecies about the Messiah
in this book than any other Old Testament book.
One set of scholars list 41 quotes
or allusions to Zechariah in the New Testament.
It seems that Zechariah has dated
each of his prophecies, like Haggai did.
The first prophecy is 1:1-6
It was given on 08/??/02
The second prophecy is 1:7 – 6:15
Hag.2:10-19 talks about how
“uncleanness” defiles everything it touches.
was given on 9/24/02
In Zec. 3
God talks about Joshua the high priest being “filthy”, but being
prophecy was given 11/24/02
The third prophecy is 7:1 – 14:21
Some suggest that only 7:1-7 are tied to the last date, and the rest of the book is
1:1-6 Turn Around
:1 In the eighth month of the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to Zechariah the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the
:1 Zechariah – “Yahweh remembers”
There are 27 people in the Bible who are named Zechariah.It’s a popular name.
Our Zechariah was a Levite (and perhaps a priest) who had been born in
Babylon, and came back to Jerusalem with Zerubbabel. (Neh. 12:16)
(Nehemiah 12:16 NKJV) of Iddo, Zechariah; of Ginnethon, Meshullam;
We think that the prophet Haggai
was on the older side, while Zechariah was a younger man.
:1 the eighth month of the second year
It is October/November of 520 BC, after Haggai gives his first two
prophecies (Hag. 1:1 – 2:9)
For our purposes, it was given 08/??/02
Haggai has already received two
Hag. 1 (given in the 6th
was given 06/01/02
message about not neglecting God’s house in order to build their own houses.
Hag. 2:1-9 (given in the seventh
was given on 07/21/02
The glory of the
coming Temple will be greater than the former Temple.
:2 “The Lord
has been very angry with your fathers.
:2 The Lord
has been very angry
God had warned the nation through Moses eight hundred years before the
captivity that if they continued to repeatedly disobey
Him, He would scatter them among the nations. (Lev. 26:33).
(Leviticus 26:33 NKJV) I will scatter you among the nations and draw out a sword
after you;your land shall be
desolate and your cities waste.
That’s exactly what God allowed to happen.
:3 Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Return to Me,” says the
Lord of hosts, “and I will return
to you,” says the Lord of hosts.
:4 “Do not be like your fathers, to whom the
former prophets preached, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Turn now from your evil ways and your evil
deeds.” ’ But they did not hear nor heed Me,”
says the Lord.
:4 the former prophets preached
Prophets like Isaiah, Hosea, and Jeremiah had been warning the people to turn
from their sins with words like…
(Jeremiah 3:12 NKJV) …‘Return, backsliding Israel,’ says the Lord;‘I will not cause My anger to fall on you.For I am merciful,’ says
the Lord;‘I will
not remain angry forever.
And yet the people didn’t listen.
:5 “Your fathers, where are they? And the prophets, do they live forever?
:6 Yet surely My words and My statutes, Which I commanded My servants the
prophets, Did they not overtake your fathers? “So they returned and said: ‘Just
as the Lord of hosts determined
to do to us, According to our ways and according to our deeds, So He has dealt
with us.’ ” ’ ”
:6 Did they not overtake your fathers?
The ancestors to the Jews had been warned by the prophets
that the nation would one day be judged for its disobedience.
The people who lived just after the days of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel
might be tempted to say, “Well we can breathe a sigh of relief, now that those trouble
makers are gone!”
Yet the people living in Zechariah’s day have now seen that all that God
foretold has come true, just like God promised.
The philosopher Voltaire (1694-1778) once said, “The Bible will be a
short-lived book.” The years proved Voltaire to be wrong
and the very house in which he lived was used to store Bibles.
The Communist dictionary issued by
the Soviet State Publishing house describes the Bible as a “Collection of
fantastic legends without scientific support.” Lenin once declared, “I expect
to live long enough to attend the funeral of all religion.” Lenin has long
since been dead (and the Soviet Union is gone), the Bible and religion has
never been more alive.
Thomas Paine (1737-1809) once stated, “Within 50 years the Bible will be a
forgotten Book.” But years later, the very press he
used to print this statement was being used to print Bibles.
The Waldenses were persecuted by the Roman Catholic Church in the middle ages
because they held strictly to the teaching of the Bible. They considered the Bible
like an anvil. They had a saying:
Your hammers break;
God’s anvil stands.
The prophets may die, but God’s Word continues.
(Isaiah 40:6–8 NKJV) —6The voice
said, “Cry out!”And he said, “What shall I cry?”“All flesh
is grass,And all its loveliness is like
the flower of the field. 7 The grass withers, the flower fades,Because the
breath of the Lord blows upon it;Surely the
people are grass. 8 The grass withers, the flower fades,But the word
of our God stands forever.”
Do you think that the Bible is just another book, maybe even a good book,
but it’s not that special?
The people of Zechariah’s day would urge you to think again.
What God promises will one day come to pass.
In particular, for our day and age, we need to remember that Jesus will
indeed come again.
Are you ready for Him?
:3 Return to Me
Maybe you too have been far from God.
Maybe you too have come to the point where you realize that it’s time for things to change.
You will find that when you turn around, that God will not reject you.Jesus said,
(John 6:37 NKJV) All that the Father gives Me
will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.
God is waiting for you to turn around.
(James 4:8a NKJV) Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
Jesus told the story of a prodigal son who ran away to live a wild
life.When he finally came to his senses,
he decided to go home. When he got close to the family ranch, he found that his
father had actually been watching and waiting for him to turn around.
(Luke 15:20 NKJV) “And he arose and came to his father. But
when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and
ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.
Maybe you too have run away from God.Did you know that He wants you to come back?He is actually waiting for you.
It is kind of
interesting to think that since the people are back in Jerusalem, why do they
need to repent?Didn’t
they already do that?
The warning for all of us is to
make sure we really learn the lessons of the past that we need to learn.
Any one of us can go back to our
old lifestyle if we don’t pay attention to our
relationship with Christ.
1:7-17 Horses & Comfort
:7 On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month,
which is the month Shebat, in the second year of
Darius, the word of the Lord came
to Zechariah the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet:
:7 the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh
This prophecy comes three months after the first one.
On our calendar it is February 15, 519 BC.
This is also two months after
Haggai’s final prophecies in 2:10-19 (encouragement to holiness), and -23 (assurance for Zerubbabel).
The implication is that the people
have been listening to Haggai and Zechariah, and they have indeed repented.
:8 I saw by night, and behold, a man riding on a red horse, and it stood
among the myrtle trees in the hollow; and behind him were horses: red,
sorrel, and white.
:8 I saw by night
Technically this is called a “night vision”, where a person sees something
while still awake.This is not a dream.
There will be a total of 8 of these “night visions” given between here and
chapter 6.They are apparently all given
on the same night.
:8 a man riding
We will see that this person will
be identified later as the “Angel of the LORD” (vs. 11)
:8 the myrtle trees in the hollow
Myrtle trees are evergreen trees, and are particularly loved because of
their beautiful flowers.
Nehemiah records that in his days that branches from myrtle trees were used
to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles (Neh. 8:15)
(Nehemiah 8:15 NKJV) —15 and that they should announce and proclaim in all their
cities and in Jerusalem, saying, “Go out to the mountain, and bring olive
branches, branches of oil trees, myrtle branches, palm branches, and branches
of leafy trees, to make booths, as it is written.”
They are also found growing in the Kidron Valley,
just below the Temple Mount, and it is thought that this is the “hollow” where
Zechariah sees these horses and their riders.
:8 horses: red, sorrel, and white
Zechariah only mentions horses here, but there are actually riders on the
horses who will all be giving their “reports” (vs. 11).
Sorrel is a reddish-brown color.
Some see symbolism in the colors of the horses, but I’m not spiritual
enough to understand the symbolism. (I’m just not sure I buy the arguments for
the symbolism in the colors)
:9 Then I said, “My lord, what are these?” So the angel who talked
with me said to me, “I will show you what they are.”
:9 the angel who talked with me
The angel talking with Zechariah is not the one next to the trees.
This is just like Daniel and John’s experience with their visions where
they are given their own personal angelic tour guide / interpreter.
This fellow is mentioned eleven times over the next six chapters.
(1:9, 13, 14; 2:2, 7; 4:1, 4, 5;
5:5, 10; 6:4)
:10 And the man who stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, “These are
the ones whom the Lord has
sent to walk to and fro throughout the earth.”
:10 the ones whom the Lord
Zechariah’s question isn’t answered by the “tour guide” angel, it’s answered
by the fellow on the red horse who is with the myrtle trees (more about him in
The idea is that these are God’s “scouts” who are on an assignment to
report back to God about all the things that have been happening on the planet.
God is aware of what goes on with this planet.
16:9 NKJV) For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the
whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is
loyal to Him…
These men on horses are angelic beings on patrol around the earth, these
are the good guys.
Sometimes we get the idea that God is somehow unaware of what is going on
in our lives.
The craftsmen take the raw material, like horns, and make something out of
:21 And I said, “What are these coming to do?” So he said, “These are
the horns that scattered Judah, so that no one could lift up his head; but the
craftsmen are coming to terrify them, to cast out the horns of the nations that
lifted up their horn against the land of Judah to scatter it.”
:21 to cast out the horns of the nations
The Angel of Yahweh had asked earlier why the nations of the world were at
ease while Judah was languishing.
Here we see that God has a plan for those who have abused His people.
The craftsmen would be the nations that would bring down the nations
represented by the “horns”.
:17 will again comfort Zion
God is for you
Zechariah’s name means “God
The idea in this vision is that God
has not forgotten Jerusalem.He is still
God promises to take care of their adversaries.He will raise up “craftsmen” to cut down the
We’ll see next week:
2:8 NKJV) For thus says the Lord of hosts: “He sent Me after glory,
to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you touches the apple of
The “apple” of the eye is the pupil.
The idea is that the nations that try to attack Israel are
actually poking God in the eye.
God cares so much for you that He takes it very personally
when someone goes after you.
I wonder sometimes if we think that God is like a young Father who doesn’t
know what to do for us as His children…
I have news for you.God is a good Father.He knows
exactly what you need.
Some may wonder if God is just a cranky old man up in heaven waiting to
pound us into the ground in judgment?
(Romans 8:31–34 NKJV) —31 What then shall we say to these things? If God
is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son,
but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us
all things? 33
Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who
justifies. 34 Who is
he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen,
who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.
God proved that He was not against you when He sent His
Son to die on a cross and to take the judgment that we deserved.
Jesus isn’t the one who condemns, but the one who is
praying for us.