Timely and timeless Lord, I want a strong relationship with you, one that will be for today and all times.
Read Zechariah 6
6 I looked up again, and there before me were four chariots coming out from between two mountains—mountains of bronze. 2 The first chariot had red horses, the second black, 3 the third white, and the fourth dappled—all of them powerful. 4 I asked the angel who was speaking to me, “What are these, my lord?”
5 The angel answered me, “These are the four spirits[a] of heaven, going out from standing in the presence of the Lord of the whole world. 6 The one with the black horses is going toward the north country, the one with the white horses toward the west,[b] and the one with the dappled horses toward the south.”
7 When 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.
8 Then he called to me, “Look, those going toward the north country have given my Spirit[c] rest in the land of the north.”
A Crown for Joshua
9 The word of the Lord came to me: 10 “Take silver and gold from the exiles Heldai, Tobijah and Jedaiah, who have arrived from Babylon. Go the same day to the house of Josiah son of Zephaniah. 11 Take the silver and gold and make a crown, and set it on the head of the high priest, Joshua son of Jozadak.[d] 12 Tell him this is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Here is the man whose name is the Branch, and he will branch out from his place and build the temple of the Lord. 13 It is he who will build the temple of the Lord, and he will be clothed with majesty and will sit and rule on his throne. And he[e] will be a priest on his throne. And there will be harmony between the two.’ 14 The crown will be given to Heldai,[f] Tobijah, Jedaiah and Hen[g] son of Zephaniah as a memorial in the temple of the Lord. 15 Those who are far away will come and help to build the temple of the Lord, and you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you. This will happen if you diligently obey the Lord your God.”
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWho would you want to represent God’s rule over your world? Who would you want to represent you before God?
In this eighth and final vision, we again see colored horses, this time pulling chariots, heading out to the four winds, bringing judgment against the nations. The focus on the north is probably of particular concern to the post-exilic Jews, who well remembered how their enemies from Babylon had attacked from that direction.
Then, in verse 9, there is a change of focus. Returning exiles from Babylon start an urgent chain of events leading to the crowning of high priest Joshua (v 11). This might seem strange. There seems to be a confusion of roles – surely it is the prince or governor who should be crowned? Not in this vision.
The focus looks beyond this Joshua to another, whose name is the Branch (see Jeremiah 23:5; 33:15) – the coming Messiah. He will build the Temple of God and unite the two offices of priest and king in one person (vs 12,13).
In verse 15, we see that people from far away will be participants in this great divine project. This may remain in the future to us, but notice that Paul used the same language to describe the building of the body of Christ in Ephesians 2:11–22 by those who ‘were once far away’.
We don’t need to figure out every detail to feel the force of this chapter. God will judge the nations; we should look toward the Priest-King Jesus who will fulfill God’s purposes in this world!
Gracious Lord, I rejoice today that your kingdom is for all people in all places. Bless those who share the gospel in distant lands.
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