Morning Bible Study
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)
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
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.
Last week we started to look at a series of “night
visions” (1:7) that Zechariah received from God. on February 15, 519 BC.
There will be eight of these “night visions” that seem to have been given
on a single night. This is now the third
2:1-13 The Surveyor
:1 Then I raised my eyes and looked, and behold, a
man with a measuring line in his hand.
:1 a man with a measuring line
Ancient surveyors didn’t have the kinds of tools
that modern surveyors use. They had
In this night vision, Zechariah is watching a surveyor getting ready to map
out and divide up the city of Jerusalem into plots, in
order to prepare for the city being rebuilt.
Keep in mind that at this point in history, even though the Jews have
returned to Jerusalem, much of the city is still in ruins.
The book of Nehemiah tells us that when the people returned from Babylon, they didn’t settle in Jerusalem,
they settled in the cities around Jerusalem. Jerusalem
was still a prime target for invading armies.
They wouldn’t settle in Jerusalem until the walls were built around
The walls around the city won’t be rebuilt for another seventy years. (444
:2 So I said, “Where are you going?” And he said to me, “To measure
Jerusalem, to see what is its width and what is its length.”
He took me there, and behold, there was a man whose
appearance was like the appearance of bronze. He had a line of flax and
a measuring rod in his hand, and he stood in the gateway.
Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel
stood, saying, “Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who
:3 And there was the angel who talked with me, going out; and
another angel was coming out to meet him,
:3 the angel who talked with me
This is the fellow we met in the last chapter.
Zechariah, like some of the other prophets, was given an angelic “tour
guide” to help him get through these visions.
Meanwhile, a second angel shows up.
I think this second fellow may be Jesus...
:4 who said to him, “Run, speak to this young man, saying: ‘Jerusalem shall
be inhabited as towns without walls, because of the multitude of men and
livestock in it.
:4 Run, speak to this young man
The second angel gives some instructions to Zechariah’s tour guide angel.
He gives him a message to give to the fellow doing the surveying.
:4 as towns without walls
Jerusalem will be so big that it will outgrow its walls.
A city without walls could also indicate a time of peace where there’s no
need for defenses.
This would seem to be a picture of Jerusalem after Jesus returns.
Video: Jerusalem Walls
It is interesting that if you look at Jerusalem from the air, you might be
able to make out the ancient walls that once protected Jerusalem, but the city
today has far outgrown its ancient walls.
Zechariah is living in a day when Jerusalem has not yet been built.
And now he’s being pointed to a time in the far future.
We too can get so caught up with the events that are happening right now in
our lives that we neglect to pay attention to what’s up ahead.
Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to
be well pleasing to Him.
:5 For I,’ says the Lord,
‘will be a wall of fire all around her, and I will be the glory in her
:5 a wall of fire all around her
Again, this too is speaking of the future, when Jesus will rule and reign
over the earth from Jerusalem.
And the Lord
went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a
pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night.
Elisha the prophet had an amazing gift from God. God would tell him where and when the king of
Syria would attack next, and Elisha would then warn the king of Israel. The king of Syria decided to do something
(2 Kings 6:14–17 NKJV) —14 Therefore he sent horses and chariots and a
great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city. 15 And when
the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army,
surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him,
“Alas, my master! What shall we do?”
Elisha’s servant is freaked out when he sees that their
city is surrounded by the Syrian army.
From his perspective, things are pretty hopeless.
16 So he
answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than
those who are with them.”
I would imagine that the servant might be rubbing his eyes
at first to see what he missed. The
truth is, he doesn’t see anyone “with us”.
He probably thinks that Elisha needs glasses.
17 And Elisha
prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray,
open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord
opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was
full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
I wonder sometimes if the reason I’m so afraid is because
my eyes are closed to who God is and what He can do.
Paton (1824-1907) was a missionary
to the New Hebrides islands in the 1800s.
He lived an amazing life of faith as he reached out to a pagan, wicked,
One night hostile natives surrounded the mission station, intent on burning
out the Patons and killing them. Paton and his wife
prayed during that terror-filled night that God would deliver them. When
daylight came they were amazed to see their attackers leave. A year later, the
chief of the tribe was converted to Christ. Remembering what had happened,
Paton asked the chief what had kept him from burning down the house and killing
them. The chief replied in surprise, “Who were all those men with you there?”
Paton knew no men were present—but the chief said he was afraid to attack because
he had seen hundreds of big men in shining garments with drawn swords circling
the mission station.
(Romans 8:31 NKJV) What then shall we say to these things? If God
is for us, who can be against us?
This doesn’t mean we won’t experience trouble or
persecution in this life.
It does mean that God is on our side.
:6 “Up, up! Flee from the land of the north,” says the Lord; “for I have spread you abroad
like the four winds of heaven,” says the Lord.
:7 “Up, Zion! Escape, you who dwell with the daughter of Babylon.”
:6 Flee from the land of the north
In Zechariah’s day, though the word had gone out that the Jews were allowed
to return home, only 50,000 of the Jews had come back from Babylon.
It was a long and dangerous journey to go back to Jerusalem.
Many had grown to feel “comfortable” living in Babylon, and they hadn’t
wanted to make the long dangerous journey to Jerusalem.
Yet there would be a judgment coming on Babylon, and God is warning His
people to flee.
Fleeing the world
We need to be careful that we don’t get too “comfortable” in this world.
We can’t escape living in the world, but we need to be careful that this world
doesn’t become our “home”.
When John sees a vision of the judgment of the last days Babylon…
18:4–5 NKJV) —4 And I heard another voice from
heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and
lest you receive of her plagues. 5 For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For
what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has
light with darkness? “I will dwell in themAnd walk among themI will be their God,And they shall be My people.”“Come out from among themAnd be separate, says the Lord. will be a Father to you,And you shall be My
Paul wrote to the Ephesians and described what this looks like…
NKJV) —8 For you were once darkness, but
now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the
fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding
out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but
rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by
them in secret. 13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for
whatever makes manifest is light. 14 Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.”
Some people fall asleep at the wheel…
Video: Drowsy Driving
We need to be careful that we don’t become “sleepers” in
this world where we just spiritually “snooze” while the world is going to hell.
It’s time to wake up and walk like a believer.
15 See then
that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming
the time, because the days are evil.
We certainly live in evil days. Most people can no longer tell you definitely
what is right and what is wrong.
do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not
be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking
to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making
melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name
of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.
Walking like a believer involves being filled with the
It involves letting God work in your heart in such a way
that your life is filled with praise and thankfulness to God.
It is a life that looks like serving others rather than
bossing them around.
:8 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 His eye.
:9 For surely I will shake My hand against them, and they shall become
spoil for their servants. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me.
:8 He sent Me after glory
The text says that the “the Lord
(Yahweh) of hosts” speaks these words.
Yet if it’s Yahweh speaking, then who sends Yahweh?
I believe that this is Jesus speaking here.
We’ve already seen Him present in the night visions as “the Angel of
God the Son is being sent by God the Father.
6:29 NKJV) Jesus answered and said to them,
“This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”
The glory that the Father has sent Jesus after is the glory of God’s victory
over those who would hurt God’s people.
:9 you will know that the Lord
of hosts has sent Me
When the enemies of Israel have been routed, the Jews will know that God
the Father is the one who sent God the Son.
:8 touches the apple of His eye
This is the message for all those who have come against the Jews.
apple – babah – the apple (pupil) of the eye
32:10 NKJV) “He found him in a desert land And in the
wasteland, a howling wilderness; He encircled him, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His
When someone touches the Jews, they are “touching” the apple of God’s eye.
Don’t poke God
There are some people you just don’t want to mess with.
Princess Bride – Inigo Montoya Prepare to Die. Starts at 1:21:42
If you touch God’s people, you are “poking God in the eye”.
You don’t want to mess with God.
:10 “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion! For behold, I am coming and I
will dwell in your midst,” says the Lord.
:11 “Many nations shall be joined to the Lord
in that day, and they shall become My people. And I will dwell in your midst.
Then you will know that the Lord
of hosts has sent Me to you.
:11 Many nations shall be joined to the Lord
After Jesus returns the second time, many nations will be joined to God
along with the Jews.
:11 I will dwell in your midst
When Jesus came the first time, He dwelt in our midst.
(John 1:14 NKJV) And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,
and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full
of grace and truth.
When Jesus comes again the second time, God will again be “in our midst”.
(Revelation 21:3 NKJV) And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying,
“Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them,
and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their
:11 know that the Lord of
hosts has sent Me
Again, even though many Jews are blinded to the truth of Jesus being their
Messiah, there will be a day when they realize that it was all true.
:12 And the Lord will take
possession of Judah as His inheritance in the Holy Land, and will again choose
:12 will again choose Jerusalem
Even though “many nations” (vs. 11) will be joined to the Lord, God is not
done with the Jews.
Some churches teach that after the Jews rejected Jesus, that God was
finished with the Jews and that now we Gentiles in the church take over the
promises that God made to Israel.
Not so. He will again choose them.
NLT) —25 I want you to understand this mystery, dear brothers and sisters,
so that you will not feel proud about yourselves. Some of the people of Israel
have hard hearts, but this will last only until the full number of Gentiles
comes to Christ. 26 And so all Israel will be saved. As the Scriptures say, “The one
who rescues will come from Jerusalem, and he will turn Israel away from
:13 Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord,
for He is aroused from His holy habitation!”
:13 Be silent, all flesh
There are some pretty cool promises to the Jews in this chapter. God has glorious times ahead for them.
Then why is it that they are doing so poorly in the days of Zechariah? How come the city is still in ruins? How come the Temple has yet to be built?
The answer to these questions is to “be silent”. God has been “aroused”, it’s like He’s been awakened.
aroused – ‘uwr
– to rouse oneself, awake
The Message) Quiet, everyone! Shh! Silence before God. Something’s afoot in His holy
house. He’s on the move!
This reminds me of the line in “The Lion Witch and the Wardrobe” after the
children first arrive in Narnia and find out that their arrival has triggered
some events that had been prophesied long before…
Witch, and Wardrobe – Aslan’s on the move. Video starts at 46:53.
Just like the story in Narnia, Jesus is “on the move”.
There is hope.
I think the key in this verse to experiencing “hope” is to “be silent”.
be silent – hacah – hush, keep silence, be silent, hold
peace, hold tongue, still
A different word is used by the Psalmist, but the idea is still the same:
(Psalm 46:10 NKJV) Be still, and know that I am God; I will be
exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!
Sometimes we are simply too noisy in our hearts and minds to realize just
who God is, that He’s on our side, and that He will help us.
The Jews in Zechariah’s day may have been thinking that God was not paying
attention to their difficulties.
They may have been tempted to think that God might even have fallen asleep.
You might have thought that God had fallen asleep, but He’s not.
God’s not dead. He’s surely alive.
He is coming. He’s on the way.
Hang in there.