- Chapters 1-6 A night of visions
- Chapters 7-8 God’s answer to questions
- Chapters 9-14 A future and a hope
Zechariah is the 2nd chronologically of the post-exile prophets (Haggai being the first then Malachi). Ezra the priest mentions him twice (5:1 and 6:14) in conjunction with Haggai who prophesied during the same time frame. Unlike Haggai who was born in Jerusalem and exiled in Babylon, Zechariah was born in Babylon and returned to Jerusalem both were part of the 45,000 exiles that traveled hundreds of miles from Babylon after the 70 year captive with Zerubbabel the political leader and Joshua the High Priest.
Though both Haggai and Zechariah write at around the same time both addressing the abandonment of the rebuilding of the temple for 16 years they do so from a very different approach:
Haggai says: “What do you mean it’s not time to do the Lord’s work”?
Zachariah says: “If you get busy God will bless you with His presence!”
I. Chapters 1-6 A night of visions
Chapter 1: Based upon 1:1 Zachariah began his prophetic ministry 2 months after Haggai’s for month ministry ended. Zechariah tells us that he is the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet but Nehemiah calls him the son of Iddo so apparently his father died and he was raised by Iddo who was a priest and a prophet as was his grandson Zechariah. Zechariah’s name means “God will remember”, Berechiah means “God will bless” and Iddo means “at the appointed time”. This could well be the theme of the book and the reason why the nation should get back to work on rebuilding the temple because “God will remember and bless at the appointed time”! Apathy and procrastination’s antidote is for us to realize that God wants to bless us beyond what we can imagine if we would only put our energy into rebuilding our spiritual lives! In 1:3 the Lord says, “Return to Me and I will return to you”! In James 4:8 we read it this way as James says, “Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you.” So how about it folks are you wanting to be blessed beyond measure? In 1:7 God gives Zechariah a series of 8 visions apparently all in one night as 7:1 as Zechariah gives us the next date.
- 1:7-17 He sees horses among the Myrtle trees: In 1:8 he see “man sitting on a red horse that was standing among some myrtle trees in a small valley. Behind him were red, brown, and white horses, each with its own rider.” The man is also identified as the “Angel of the Lord” in verse 11 which is a pre-incarnate manifestation of Jesus. The red horse suggests conflict and war and the myrtle trees represent the nation of Israel. The name in Hebrew is the masculine form of the name Esther who in a few years would be saving the Jews in Persia from Haman’s plan. What a great picture this was as the Lord was standing in the midst of His people ready to protect them from any and all opposition. The 70 years
- 1:18-21 In Zechariah’s 2nd vision he sees the powerful gentile world ruling powers that Daniel also saw and that he sees four craftsmen who God will use to “nail” them who sought to destroy His people.
- 2:1-13 Zechariah’s 3rd vision he again sees Jesus this time with a measuring line taking measurements of the future dimensions of Jerusalem when Jesus will reign as King of Kings. Notice that at this time according to verse 4 Jerusalem will be inhabited as a town with out wall as Jesus will be the glory in her midst. No need for wall of protection as He says in verse 8 “he who touches you touches the apple of His eye.” Why does God describe Israel as the “Apple of His eye”? Well Physiologists tell us that quickest reflex in the human body is to cover our eyes when something is coming at it.
- 3:1-10 Zechariah’s 4th vision he sees Joshua standing before Jesus and satan who is accusing Joshua. Folk’s in scripture you will always see satan involved in tow things:
- Before man he slanders and misinforms us about God
- Before God he slanders and misinforms God about us
No wonder why Jesus calls him a liar from the beginning! Look at what Jesus has to say to him in 3:2 “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?” Satan accusations was that Joshua just didn’t measure up but Jesus says, it all depends upon how you measure. Jesus says, “This man is like a burning stick that has been snatched from a fire.” He doesn’t call Joshua “Mighty Sequoia” that lives over 2000 years, reaches 380 feet and is 26 feet around. No, God calls him a twig plucked from a fire. Friends, our security and importance is not in who we are but in Whose we are. Then Jesus says in 3:4 “Take away the filthy garments from him. I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes.” The temple may have lied for 16 years untouched but Jesus is reassuring the High Priest Joshua that He saw him in His righteousness not his own. Then Jesus tells him the best news of all that the “BRANCH” is coming (3:9-10)
And when He “I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. In that day, Everyone will invite his neighbor under his vine and under his fig tree.”
- 4:1-14 Zechariah’s 5th vision apparently Zechariah is so wiped out that he has fallen asleep and the Lord has to wake him up to give him this vision. Then the Lord shows him two golden lampstand’ s something that as a priest Zechariah he knew well, accept these lampstand’ s are kept lit by being directly connected to the olive trees so that the priest wouldn’t have to go get the olives crush them to get the oil to keep them lit. Saint’s oil is a picture of the Holy Spirit and has three uses:
- Eliminates: Friction, just as we are told in Galatians 5:22 that the fruit of the Spirit is love defined by 8 attributes. The Holy Spirit in our lives eliminates the friction of the flesh!
- Illuminates: It also brings light to our dark world through enlighting the word of God!
- Immunities: Finally the work of the Holy Spirit brings healing to our body, soul and spirit and a fresh moment by moment supply will keep us healthy.
Through Zechariah God encourages the governor Zerubbabel saying in 4:6 “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.” Saint’s it’s not going to come together by huff’n and puff’n, no it’s going to come together by what the Holy Spirit supplies. “He shall bring forth the capstone with shouts of Grace, grace to it” (4:7). It is for this truth that according to 4:10 we shouldn’t “Despise the day of small things….for the eyes of the Lord, scan to and fro throughout the whole earth.”
- 5:1-4 Zechariah’s 6th vision in the previous 5 visions the Lord had encouraged the people about His present and future for them but here He changes this by giving then a vision that suggested that they needed to be trimmed up in order that they would burn brighter. Zechariah sees a scroll 30 feet long and 15 feet wide on which is recorded their sins both against God and there fellow man. This vision speaks to our heart in as much that some times the problem isn’t that we don’t have a supply of the Holy Spirit, no the problem is that we need our wicks trimmed in order that the flame will burn brighter. Saint’s we can cry our to God for more of Him but we need to recognize that for there to be more of Him, more power, more love, more of Him in our lives there will also have to be less of us! Confession is wonderful thing as it will enable us to be supplied with more of Him.
- 5:5-11 Zechariah’s 7th vision he sees a large basket used for harvesting and sees that the folks are all caught in commercialism and materialism and the Lord calls is “Wickedness” (verse 8) and then they two it to the world system in the final days where people will worship their wallets instead of the living God.
- 6:1-8 Zechariah’s 8th vision where he sees 4 chariots which fits perfectly into revelation 6. This vision was to show the people that God was moving amongst them removing sin, destroying worldliness and preparing them for His return. He sees the return of Israel
The 6th chapter concludes with the crowning of Joshua the High Priest but it looks beyond this to the crown of yet another Joshua who with not only be priest but prophet and King as well “the Man whose name is BRANCH” and He will build the temple of the Lord, He shall bear glory and shall sit and rule on His throne. Why even those who are far away shall come..!