May 13, 2011

Minor Prophets XC: The Four Spirits of Heaven

Zechariah 6:1-8 is the final vision of this series by Zechariah.

Vision #8. Four chariots coming out from between two mountains of bronze. The first chariot had red horses, second black, third white, and the fourth dappled—all of them powerful. The angel tells Zechariah that they, “are the four spirits of heaven, going out from standing in the presence of the Lord of the whole world. The black horses are going toward the north country, the one with the white horses toward the west, and the one with the dappled horses toward the south.” The powerful horses went out, they were straining to go throughout the earth. And he said, “Go throughout the earth!” So they went throughout the earth. We then see those going toward the north country have given my Spirit rest in the land of the north.”

The presence of horses and chariots suggest judgment or battle. The mountains appear to signify judgment as bronze is often associated with such. The alter of sacrifice in the Tabernacle was covered in bronze and it is where sin was judged. The serpent of Moses was also bronze. I believe here we see God judging the Gentile nations for their sin. Probably during the Tribulation or Day of the Lord preceding the return of Christ. What is interesting is the horses were “straining” or as we say today “chomping at the bit” to go to their appointed tasks. Each horse was appointed a geographical direction. God is clearly angry here and His messangers would see to the fact that judgment was dispensed. The word of encouragement in this vision is God’s sovereignty and omnipotence. For a believer who is not under harsh judgment, this is a reassuring thing. God is in control.

If we compare this vision to the first four seals of Revelation 6:1-8 we can see some similarities.

If the colors of the horses are significant than Revelation helps us. The red symbolizes war. The black: famine, the white horse: death. Obviously there is not dappled horse in Revelation but dapples could signify plagues that are in Revelation. Either way the dappled horse is a stretch. We know that during the Day of the Lord He will use pestilence, wars, plagues and famine to punish the nations. The ideas are parallel or nearly so. Be warned, judgment and rough times ahead for those outside the will of God.

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