May 9, 2011

Minor Prophets LXXXVI: Divine Ventriloquism

Vision #1: Zechariah 1 has a revelation or vision and this is his first. There is a man mounted on a red horse. He was standing among the myrtle trees in a ravine. Behind him were red, brown and white horses. Zechariah poses the question to the Lord, “What are these, my lord?” An angel is there to interpret and says, “I will show you what they are.” [and this is where it gets wacky]. The man in the myrtle trees is the one to speak, “They are the ones the LORD has sent to go throughout the earth.” We as the reader along with Zechariah are informed that the man in the myrtle trees is reporting to the unnamed angel in the vision.

The report? “We have gone throughout the earth and found the whole world at rest and in peace.” We are then informed that this man most likely is the angel of the LORD (second person of the Trinity) and he said, “LORD Almighty, how long will you withhold mercy from Jerusalem and from the towns of Judah, which you have been angry with these seventy years?” Here we see the controlling activity of the Lord in the world. The Lord spoke kind and comforting words to the angel speaking to Zechariah. Then the angel speaking to Zechariah said, “Proclaim this word: This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘I am very jealous for Jerusalem and Zion, and I am very angry with the nations that feel secure. I was only a little angry, but they went too far with the punishment.”
Here the tone changes and we see the Lord say, “I will return to Jerusalem with mercy, and there my house will be rebuilt. And the measuring line will be stretched out over Jerusalem”. A proclamation is then to be made: “My towns will again overflow with prosperity, and the LORD will again comfort Zion and choose Jerusalem.” It is in the latter portions of this exegetical unit that we see the promise that the Lord will return with “mercy” and His house will be rebuilt. The Lord will intercede for Israel. In a nutshell the Angel of the Lord taught Zechariah the meaning of the horseman. They are God’s angelic army that patrols the earth and carry out the decrees of the Lord.

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