zechariah, revelation prophet, part 4

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Zechariah: Revelation Prophet Part 4:

Pastor Brian Chilton Friendship Baptist Church For more information go to: www.friendshipbaptistchurchonline.com Zechariah: Revelation Prophet Part 4

Question of the Week:

Question of the Week Question 39: Who will be playing in the streets of the Jerusalem of the future? Answer: Boys and girls. (Zechariah 8:5) Question 40: When was Zechariah 9:9 fulfilled and where is the verse quoted in Matthew’s gospel?

Tonight’s Outline:

Tonight’s Outline II. The Four Explanatory Messages (chaps. 7-8) A. The messages required by the question about fasting (7:1-3) B. The messages declared as the answer from the Lord (7:4-8:23) 1. A message of rebuke (7:4-7) 2. A message of repentance (7:8-14) 3. A message of restoration (8:1-17) 4. A message of rejoicing (8:18-23)

A. The messages required by the question about fasting (7:1-3):

A. The messages required by the question about fasting (7:1-3 ) 1 Now in the fourth year of King Darius it came to pass that the word of the LORD came to Zechariah, on the fourth day of the ninth month, Chislev , 2 when the people sent Sherezer , with Regem-Melech and his men, to the house of God, to pray before the LORD, 3 and to ask the priests who were in the house of the LORD of hosts, and the prophets, saying, "Should I weep in the fifth month and fast as I have done for so many years?"

A. The messages required by the question about fasting (7:1-3):

A. The messages required by the question about fasting (7:1-3 ) (7:1) This event occurred on December 7 th , 518 BC nearly two years after the night visions given to Zechariah. (7:2-3) Sherezer and Regem-Melech were Jewish exiles. They had been given Babylonian names while in exile. The question was; should the people continue to mourn over Jerusalem since Jerusalem was being rebuilt and re-established? This was a practice that was established but no longer seemed necessary. There were fasts on the 4 th (June-July), 5 th (July-August), 7 th (Sept.-Oct.) , and 10 th (Dec-Jan) months that commemorated the fall and destruction of Jerusalem.

B. The messages declared as the answer from the Lord (7:4-8:23) 1. A message of rebuke (7:4-7):

B. The messages declared as the answer from the Lord (7:4-8:23) 1. A message of rebuke (7:4-7 ) 4 Then the word of the LORD of hosts came to me, saying, 5 "Say to all the people of the land, and to the priests: 'When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months during those seventy years, did you really fast for Me-for Me? 6 'When you eat and when you drink, do you not eat and drink for yourselves? 7 'Should you not have obeyed the words which the LORD proclaimed through the former prophets when Jerusalem and the cities around it were inhabited and prosperous, and the South and the Lowland were inhabited?'"

A Message of Rebuke:

A Message of Rebuke (7:4-5) You may notice the emphasis that Zechariah places on the LORD in these passages. This was the word from the LORD and not Zechariah’s own words. God doubted the sincerity behind the people’s worship. Note the repetition in verse 5 for Me—for Me? Who was the worship for? God or themselves? (7:6-7) The former prophets served as an example to the fact that the people were not acting in ignorance, but rather in rebellion. Worship with the wrong intentions is a dead worship and not accepted by God.

2. A message of repentance (7:8-14):

2. A message of repentance (7:8-14 ) 8 Then the word of the LORD came to Zechariah, saying, 9 "Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'Execute true justice, Show mercy and compassion Everyone to his brother. 10 Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, The alien or the poor. Let none of you plan evil in his heart Against his brother.' 11 "But they refused to heed, shrugged their shoulders, and stopped their ears so that they could not hear. 12 "Yes, they made their hearts like flint, refusing to hear the law and the words which the LORD of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets. Thus great wrath came from the LORD of hosts. 13 "Therefore it happened, that just as He proclaimed and they would not hear, so they called out and I would not listen," says the LORD of hosts. 14 "But I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations which they had not known. Thus the land became desolate after them, so that no one passed through or returned; for they made the pleasant land desolate ."

A Message of Repentance:

A Message of Repentance (7:8-10) Here again Zechariah shows the importance of God speaking and not himself by adding the word of the LORD . God showed His true desires by giving the people four tests: 1. Execute true justice: (Hebrew “ mispat ”) denotes the rights of individuals. It also is connected with divine justice. So, justice done correctly and by the Spirit of God will be justice delivered by God Himself. 2. Show mercy and compassion: (Hebrew…mercy=“ hesed ” is similar to the Greek “agape” which means “unconditional love”. Compassion=“ rahamani ” which means “having great compassion”.) Faithful love and tender compassion were to be the greatest rule of the land. 3. Do not oppress: Oppression means that one mistreats another. Those who are most vulnerable are: the widow, the orphan, the immigrant, and the poor. God will not tolerate someone abusing someone less fortunate. 4. Do not plan evil in his heart: This requires a repentant heart so that one does not become legalistic. One should do away with a spirit of hatred, revenge, and vindictiveness. These are opposite of the characteristics of God. (7:11-14) The past generation had shrugged their shoulders and refused to repent. Their hearts had hardened like flint. God, therefore, scattered them with a whirlwind among the nations . Most likely, this was not a literal whirlwind, but the scattering that occurred through the exile.

3. A message of restoration (8:1-17):

3 . A message of restoration (8:1-17 ) 1 Again the word of the LORD of hosts came, saying, 2 "Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'I am zealous for Zion with great zeal; With great fervor I am zealous for her.' 3 "Thus says the LORD: 'I will return to Zion, And dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth, The Mountain of the LORD of hosts, The Holy Mountain.' 4 "Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'Old men and old women shall again sit In the streets of Jerusalem, Each one with his staff in his hand Because of great age. 5 The streets of the city Shall be full of boys and girls Playing in its streets.' 6 "Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'If it is marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, Will it also be marvelous in My eyes?' Says the LORD of hosts. 7 "Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'Behold, I will save My people from the land of the east And from the land of the west; 8 I will bring them back, And they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. They shall be My people And I will be their God, In truth and righteousness .'

A Message of Restoration (cont’d):

A Message of Restoration (cont’d) 9 "Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'Let your hands be strong, You who have been hearing in these days These words by the mouth of the prophets, Who spoke in the day the foundation was laid For the house of the LORD of hosts, That the temple might be built. 10 For before these days There were no wages for man nor any hire for beast; There was no peace from the enemy for whoever went out or came in; For I set all men, everyone, against his neighbor. 11 'But now I will not treat the remnant of this people as in the former days,' says the LORD of hosts. 12 'For the seed shall be prosperous, The vine shall give its fruit, The ground shall give her increase, And the heavens shall give their dew-I will cause the remnant of this people To possess all these. 13 And it shall come to pass That just as you were a curse among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, So I will save you, and you shall be a blessing. Do not fear, Let your hands be strong.' 14 "For thus says the LORD of hosts: 'Just as I determined to punish you When your fathers provoked Me to wrath,' Says the LORD of hosts, 'And I would not relent, 15 So again in these days I am determined to do good To Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. Do not fear. 16 These are the things you shall do: Speak each man the truth to his neighbor; Give judgment in your gates for truth, justice, and peace; 17 Let none of you think evil in your heart against your neighbor; And do not love a false oath. For all these are things that I hate,' Says the LORD ."

Message of Restoration:

Message of Restoration (8:1-2) Again, Zechariah emphasizes that what he was hearing and speaking was the word of the LORD . Zechariah shows the glorious salvation of Israel in the future compared to the judgments of the past. Notice that God is zealous for His people. (8:3) God again promises to come to Zion and live in the midst of Jerusalem . This would happen ultimately through the Messiah. Because of God’s presence, the city will be known as the City of Truth and the Holy Mountain . (8:4-5) The scene presented here is a scene of tranquility and peace. Children playing in the streets and seniors sitting in the streets shows the great family bond in this period of time. Although there may be historical periods of peace in Jerusalem, this ultimately is fulfilled during the Second Advent of Messiah. (8:6) This all may have seemed to good to be true. But, anything is possible for Almighty God. (8:7-8) For all you prophecy lovers, you will love these verses. Many have heard of the re-gathering of God’s chosen back to the lands of Israel in the last days. These verses are the verses that point to that fact.

Message of Restoration (cont’d):

Message of Restoration (cont’d) (8:9) Zechariah points back to the importance of rebuilding the Temple, because rebuilding the Temple would essentially place faith in God and in God’s prophecy. (8:10) Like Haggai, as in Haggai 1:6, Zechariah was trying to encourage the people to stay with the task of rebuilding the Temple. (8:11-13) Here again, Zechariah encourages the people with the LORD’s promise to bless the people for their devotion. Curses came from disobedience and rebellion whereas blessings came from trust and obedience. (8:14-15) God was just as determined to bless the people of Zechariah’s generation as God was to bring judgment against their rebellious ancestors. (8:16-17) God gives the people through Zechariah four commands (2 positive and 2 negative: Positive: 1. Speak the truth : Practice speaking the truth to every person. 2. Give (sound) judgment: Promote peace, truth, and justice. Negative: 1. Don’t think evil in your heart: Think pure thoughts and on how to do good. Have the mind of Messiah. 2. Don’t love false oaths: Don’t promote lies. The essence of this is to love the things that God loves and despise the things that God despises.

4. A message of rejoicing (8:18-23):

4. A message of rejoicing (8:18-23) 18 Then the word of the LORD of hosts came to me, saying, 19 "Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'The fast of the fourth month, The fast of the fifth, The fast of the seventh, And the fast of the tenth, Shall be joy and gladness and cheerful feasts For the house of Judah. Therefore love truth and peace.' 20 "Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'Peoples shall yet come, Inhabitants of many cities; 21 The inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, "Let us continue to go and pray before the LORD, And seek the LORD of hosts. I myself will go also." 22 Yes, many peoples and strong nations Shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, And to pray before the LORD.' 23 "Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, "Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you ."'"

A Message of Rejoicing:

A Message of Rejoicing (8:18-19) Here, yet again, Zechariah emphasizes the word of the LORD . The emphasis of ( abc hwhy ) “YHWH tsaba ” LORD of hosts as God’s name shows that God is the ruler over all things. (8:20-22) Not to lessen the impact, but rather to emphasize the fact, Zechariah shows once again that everyone in the world would know about the LORD of hosts . (8:23) There would be a time when God’s people would be respected. In today’s time (at least in most part), Christians have great respect for the Jewish people. Thus, a further fulfillment of God’s word is established.

Conclusion::

Conclusion: Zechariah gives a message of hope. We are reminded through Zechariah of the problems that arise from living lives of disobedience. In the end, we only hurt ourselves by disobeying God’s holy plan. When we surrender to God and establish a relationship with the Almighty, (or rather let Him establish a relationship with us), we are brought into the blessings of God. God wants to bless us. Will we let Him?

Next Week: First Revelatory Oracle:

Next Week: First Revelatory Oracle We begin a look at the Great Messianic Future fulfilled in Jesus Christ. We will see the blessings found in the Messiah and look at New Testament references where we find these prophecies fulfilled.

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