Zechariah and the visions he received from the Lord
For the last 2 weeks we have been reading the Book of Zechariah together.
-The time of the Book of Zechariah dates to 520 B.C-- 16 years after the 50,000 Jews and
some of their servants, returned to Jerusalem after 70 years of captivity in the land of
-The message of Zechariah dovetails with the message of Haggai-- Rebuild the Temple of the
Lord. If you want God's blessing on your life-- put Him first.
-When the Jews first returned from Babylon their rebuild the foundation of the Temple and
the altar-- but then because of Samaritan opposition, stopped building. For close to 16 years
no work on the Temple was done. Meanwhile the people built fancy houses for themselves.
This displeased God, who, to get the peoples attention, sent hardship their way and finally
the prophets Haggai and Zechariah (both of whom called the people to repentance). To the
peoples credit, as indicated in both Haggai and Zechariah, they responded to the Lord's
rebuke and set their hearts and hands to the work of God and the rebuilding of the Temple
Special things about the Book of Zechariah
-It is very much connected to the writings of Isaiah and the Book of Revelation
-It has a lot to say about Jesus
-The incredible visions of chapter 1-8 are explained
-Zechariah's name means "The Lord remembers" because to a certain degree its what the
Book of Zechariah is about- God remembering and reiterating His promises for Israel and His
Major Themes in Zechariah
1. The rebuilding of the Temple
2. The call to the Jewish exiles to return home
3. The mercy and grace of God
4. God's control of history
5. The presence of God. God being with his people. God with us.
6. The coming Kingdom and rule of God.
7. The faithfulness of God to His promises
8. The restoration, blessing, and revitalization of Jerusalem and Israel
9. The centrality of Jerusalem and Israel to God's rule, salvation plans, world events, and the
10. The judgment of Israel's oppressors- justice will be done. The wickedness done to her
will be avenged
11. The call to holy and righteous living and the care of the poor, the fatherless and widows
12. Jesus. The coming Messiah
The structure of Zechariah
Zechariah can be essentially divided into 2 big parts --Ch. 1-8, ch. 9-14
This week we'll focus on Ch.1-8
A quick overview of ch.1-8
1. Chapter 1:1-6-- a call to repentance
2. Chapters 1:7-6:8 Visions from the Lord
This vision is quite involved, filled with lots of imagery, and it circles back on itself (in the
sense that what is touched on in the first part of the vision is again touched on in the latter
The vision- for our benefit and understanding is not left a mystery for it contains explanatory
3. Chapters 7-8. Practical teaching as it regarded what God wanted from his people in terms
of how to live before and with Him. - Ch. 7-8
Note the overlap with Isaiah 58-- lesson on fasting
SOME LESSONS AND PRINCIPLES FROM CH.1-8
1. WE MUST ALWAYS BE READY TO ATTEND TO THE CALL TO REPENT AND TO
RETURN TO GOD Read 1:1-6
-we are prone to wander
-Repentance, getting right with God, holy living, the pursuit of justice; such are key to His
-tender, sensitive hearts is what God requires of us
-We must be willing to deal with the sin in our lives (all that which is contrary to things of
God as outlined in the Bible). Note that repenting involves agreeing with God and confessing
His justice and rightness in all He does v.6
Is there something current in your life that you are doing, that you know is contrary to the
will of God?
Hear what Acts 3:19 says; "Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped
out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,"
2. GOD WITH US-- A DOMINANT THEME IN THE BOOK OF ZECHARIAH- A CORE
TEACHING OF CHRIST FOR US WHO ARE HIS FOLLOWERS. Read Zechariah 2:10-13
In Zechariah 1-8, God's call to repent and return to Him comes with an awesome promise: He
will return to us. He will come and dwell with us. He will be our God and be with us. He will
reveal His glory to us. He will come to our aid. He will stand in our stead as our shield and
defender. To Him we shall be the apple of His eye- His treasured possessions. Read
Zechariah 2:7 which says "For whoever touches you, touches the apple of his eye"
God with His people is a major teaching in the Book of Zechariah -- and it all has to do with
the call to repent and turn to God.
Now think of Christ. What is His promise to turn to Him as Lord and Savior-- who repent of
their sins: "And lo I am with you always to the very end of the age"
Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us - for comfort, care, correction, guidance, instruction, power
Since Jesus is with us-- we not to be afraid. We are to serve Him boldly. "The Lord is with
me, I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?" Psalm 118:6
3. NOT BY MIGHT, NOR BY POWER, BUT BY GOD'S SPIRIT-- a reminder to depend
and look to God for His strength. Zechariah 4:6
We are not to rely on our own strength, our own wisdom, our own resources. In all things we
should express a dependence upon God-- such being worked out through prayer and
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" Philippians 4:13
This point also reminds me of Christ and His ministry. His was a Spirit led, Spirit empowered,
Spirit directed ministry. The same Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, indwells us. We
are to lean upon Him
4. SMALL THINGS, SLOW STARTS, WEAK VESSELS- DON'T BE DISCOURAGED, WE'VE
GOT A BIG GOD! Zechariah 4:10
Herein a promise is given that Zerubbabel (The governor being direct descendant of David
and zealous for the Lord and His Temple) ,will complete the work of the Temple. God Himself
will enable it and so prove His presence with the people and the rest of His promises.
This promise does not depend on Zerubbabel's strength or wisdom but on God- who saw a
man devoted to Him. Thought the start of the Temple was small and those involved in the
effort weak and the materials ok, God was going to glorify it.
If God be for us, who can stand against us! Nothing is impossible for God
A great verse to know: "The eyes of the LORD search the whole earth in order to strengthen
those whose hearts are fully committed to Him." 2 Chronicles 16:9
5. THE BOOK OF ZECHARIAH HAS MUCH TO SAY ABOUT JESUS AND HIS CLEANSING
AND FORGIVING WORK Read Zechariah 3
Explore the vision of Zechariah 3 and it's significance
Things to note
1. Joshua's name means "The Lord saves". The name Joshua is a variant of the name Jesus,
2. Joshua was the high priest at the time. In ch.6 he is anointed as a king (priest and king)
reminding us that Jesus is prophet, priest and king
3. Joshua's cleansing in v.3-5 reminds me of the cleansing of Isaiah in Isaiah 6--- wherein
Isaiah says "Woe is me, for I am a man of unclean lips" after seeing God on His throne, to
which an angel brings a burning coal and touches his lips and pronounces him clean--
symbolizing his sin and guilt being taken away
4. His being called the Branch means he was a type for Christ
Read v.8 and note how the text explicitly says this, calling Joshua "The Branch".
This "Branch" reference takes us back to Isaiah 11:1-10 which begins with "A shoot will
come up form the stump of Jess; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the
LORD will rest on him- the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and
of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD--
5. The seven eyed stone of v.9 is a symbol, reminding us that the eyes of the LORD see all
things on earth
6. Satan accusing Joshua and God rebuking him (v.1-2) reminds me of Satan's accusations
against Job and of Revelation 12:10 which says "For the accuser of our brothers and sisters,
who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down."-- referring to the
defeat of Satan and his sure doom to eternity in the Lake of Fire
In contrast to Satan's accusing is Jesus our defender and intercessor "Jesus... at the right
hand of God is interceding for us" Romans 8:34
Furthermore, I John 2:1 says' "My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin.
But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense--Jesus Christ,
the Righteous One."
7. The removal of the sin of the land in a single day can only find its fulfillment in one
person: Jesus Christ and the cross
Jesus is the one who takes away sins. His is the cleansing blood. By his death on the cross-
in that one day he made for the forgiveness of all who would believe on Him as Savior and
His forgiveness is a gracious and cleansing one-- As Joshua was cleansed and given new
clothes-- in Christ we are made new creatures and Christ and all our sins are forgiven
Have to you gone to Christ for the forgiveness of your sins?
With the cleansing work of Christ in mind, let us prepare ourselves for the taking of the
Sing: And can it be