Archive for March 26th, 2009

Prophet, Priest, King and All Good Things!

In chapter 6, Zechariah concludes with the eighth vision and then gives a glimpse of brighter things to come.

The Vision of the Chariots
This is a vision of protection and deliverance. Four chariots issue from the mountains around Jerusalem (Perhaps Mt. Zion & Mt of Olives). 
The colors of the mountains indicate judgement as well as the colors of the horses commissioned to execute against judgement against the nations. We see these steeds (or similar ones) again in Revelation 6!
“In the usual Scriptural symbolism red speaks of warblack of famine and deathwhite of victory, and grizzled ofpestilence (Ezekiel 14:21; Revelation 6:18).” (Luck)
Father, allow us to be messengers of Your grace and love. That because of our sharing of free grace of Jesus Christ there would be no need for the four horses of judgement to be dispatched! Help us to think radically like that, especially as we minister to the Bright Zone…what if everyone who lives in the Bright Zone were to have a loving relationship with You? Grant us vision and zeal, O Lord! Amen!
The Priest Crowned King
Note the closing incident, which foreshadowed the union of the offices of priesthood and kingship in the person of our Lord. 
According to Zechariah 3:8, Joshua stands symbolically in these visions “for things to come,” and especially for the promised Branch (Messiah). 
The picture is one of a union between the office of priest and that of king in a single individual. When He comes to “be a priest on His throne,” the final and true temple of the Lord will be erected.
The uniqueness and unusualness of this dual office is clearly told in 2 Chronicles 26 which tells the tragic story of King Uzziah who tried to function as a priest, and was stricken with leprosy to the end of his life. Through the history of Israel God commanded a separation between the religious and the civil leadership of Israel.
Taking the meaning of the names:
  • Heldai means robust
  • Tobijah means God’s goodness, and 
  • Jedaiah means God knows
J. Vernon McGee sees the intention that “God knows that through His goodness, He will put His king on the throne, and He will do it in a robust manner.”
We already saw this Branch in Zechariah 3:8, and it is a familiar title for the Messiah (Isaiah 4:2 and 11:1, Jeremiah 23:5 and 33:15). 
The Branch is associated with fruitfulness and life. Jesus used the same image when He said that He was the vine and we are the branches (John 15:5).
Behold, the Man: “In the Hebrew text the prophecy begins ‘Behold the Man,’ the very words Pilate used to present the beaten Christ to the people of Jerusalem: ‘Ecce homo!’ “ (Boice) 
But in Zechariah’s vision it isn’t the humiliated Jesus we are asked to behold, it is the triumphant Jesus. 
Jesus shall build the temple of the Lord: The Branch will rebuild the temple – not the same temple Zerubbabel worked on, but the temple of His people (Ephesians 2:19-22, 1 Peter 2:5).

Jehovah Tsidkenu, The Lord our Righteousness, thank You for being for us our Prophet, Priest and King. You are all things to us. Help us to look to You to fill every capacity in our lives. There is no void You cannot fill! I pray Lord that every member of St. Philip’s will discover more of who You are and bask in the wonder of it all. And then joyfully share it with others. Grant us uncommon grace during these troubling times. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Join all the glorious names
Of wisdom, love, and power,
That ever mortals knew,
That angels ever bore:
All are too mean to speak His worth,
To poor to set my Savior forth.

Great Prophet of my God,
My tongue would bless Thy Name,
By Thee the joyful news
Of our salvation came,
The joyful news of sin forgiv’n
Of hell subdued, and peace with Heav’n.

Jesus, my great High Priest,
Offered His blood, and died;
My guilty conscience seeks
No sacrifice beside:
His powerful blood did once atone,
And now it pleads before the throne.

My dear almighty Lord,
My Conqueror and my King,
Thy scepter and Thy sword,
Thy reigning grace I sing:
Thine is the power; behold I sit
In willing bonds beneath Thy feet.

Now let my soul arise,
And tread the tempter down;
My Captain leads me forth
To conquest and a crown:
A feeble saint shall win the day,
Though death and hell obstruct the way.

Sin Purged

Zechariah gives us two more of his visions in chapter 5, visions 6 & 7.

Zechariah 5:1-7
The Vision of the Flying Roll

This huge sheet of parchment, 30′ x 15′, was covered with the solemn curses of the Law, 

  1. on one side against the thief and 
  2. on the other against false swearing. 
These two sins may have prevelant in this young community or it could just be a way of noting the Ten Commandments, one from each side of the tablets. For 
  1. to steal was to injure your neighbor
  2. to perjure was to dishonor God, because you had sworn in his name. 

Lord, keep St. Philip’s pure and truthful, a generous giver, never accused of stealing or deceptive behavior. Keep the church above reproach especially as it strives to raise money to impact the lives of people in the Bright Zone. 

Just an FYI: The dimensions of the holy place in the tabernacle and of the porch of Solomon’s temple was 30′ x 15′.

Zechariah 5:5-11
The Vision of the Basket

The woman, the basket, and the weight are associated with wickedness. They personify greed, materialism, and dishonesty for profit. Zechariah prophesied to those who returned from the Babylonian exile. God’s people came back from Babylon with a materialism problem, and this vision speaks to this problem.
Zechariah sees this personification of wicked materialism being locked into a large container used to measure out grain, and carried away back to Babylon by two angels. Earlier God’s people had been carried captive to Babylon because of their wickedness. 
In the future God will separate His people from evil, and it is evil that is taken captive and sent far away into exile.

Lord Jesus, how infiltrating these sins can be, as we disguise them with terms like stewardship, blessings and shrewd dealings. Protect us from ourselves and our selfishness. Help to be giving and living Beyond Ourselves. I pray you will protect the Harringtons from being taken up with these worry-produced, joy-robbing vices but rather lead them to You. Oh to fall headlong in love with You! Amen.

Just an FYI: This portion is the only place, I think, that we find any idea of female angels!