Israel 2016

Israel 2016
Roman architectural influence in Bet Sean, Israel

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Chronoligical Reading Plan for Sep 19, Zech 1-4

Today's readings are Zech 1-4. Tomorrow's are Zech 5-9.

Haggai and Zechariah were contemporaries of each other, Haggai calling for the Temple work to resume and Zechariah, a priest, calling for repentance and a return to God. Their prophecies complemented each other, assuring that God's people would be ready to worship once the Temple was completed.

Zech 1:1-6 is a call to repent. This comes about a month after the work on the Temple resumes.

Then, Zechariah has a series of night visions concerning God's judgment on the nations, God's election and blessing of Jerusalem, the purification of the land, the rebuilding of the Temple and the leadership of Zerubbabel & Joshua.

In the fourth vision, we see the high priest, Joshua (not to be confused with Joshua of the Book of Joshua), before the "angel of the Lord', quite possibly the Lord Himself. An accuser (Satan) appears. Joshua represents the people. He is filthy, soiled by sin, and unable to worship. God cleanses him and gives him new, beautiful clothes. This is a sign that Joshua will establish the renewed priesthood. Through his ministry, if he remains faithful, the people will be restored. Joshua is a type of Christ, clothed in righteousness and standing as a mediator between God and His children.

The fifth vision of the lampstand (probably representing the temple) and olive trees is an encouragement for Zerubbabel and Joshua to trust in the power of the Spirit of God (represented by the oil) rather than military or financial power.

These visions should have been seen by the Jews as a caution to avoid returning to their way prior to the Babylonian captivity. They were given the Promised Land but quickly began to focus on their own self-interests and dependency on other kings and nations. God has returned them to their land but it is in need of cleansing because they have tainted it and allowed it to be tainted.

For us, these chapters serve as a reminder that we can fall victim to the same heart attitude, one that cries out to God when we’re in trouble then takes Him for granted when times improve.

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