PROPHECY AND PATIENCE
Lord, we wait patiently for Your plan to unfold.
Read ZECHARIAH 6:9–15
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.[a] 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[b] will be a priest on his throne. And there will be harmony between the two.’ 14 The crown will be given to Heldai,[c] Tobijah, Jedaiah and Hen[d] 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.”
a Zechariah 6:11 Hebrew Jehozadak, a variant of Jozadak
b Zechariah 6:13 Or there
c Zechariah 6:14 Syriac; Hebrew Helem
d Zechariah 6:14 Or and the gracious one, the
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.
How do you cope with having to wait for something: an important event, the fulfillment of a promise, the visit of a loved one, an answer to prayer?
After a vision promising God’s empowering of Zerubbabel and Joshua as leaders in Jerusalem who will spearhead the temple project, plus two visions which speak of the purging of evil from the community, the final vision reasserts God’s sovereignty over the world. This is followed by a prophecy involving a symbolic act, the details of which are unclear. The Hebrew word for “crown” is plural. This could mean a crown with two circlets, but verse 13 refers to two people, the Branch and a priest (This is clearer in other translations, eg., ESV, NRSV). The Branch is a future descendant of David (See Saturday’s note on Zechariah 3:8 ), but it is Joshua, a descendant of Aaron, who is crowned. In 3:8 Joshua is not the Branch, but he and his associates are a sign that he is coming. Why wasn’t Zerubbabel crowned? Perhaps he was away reporting to the emperor. It’s unlikely that verses 12 and 13 simply repeat the promise of 4:9. They probably refer to a future temple.
Despite these uncertainties, the meaning of the crowning is clear. It declares that the promised Branch, a Messiah from David’s line, will come. Under his rule, king and priest will act in harmony. He will build a temple of the Lord; people from throughout the world will be involved in this. Jesus fulfilled the prophecy about the Branch. However, his is also a priestly role, explained in Hebrews as Jesus being a priest-king “in the order of Melchizedek” (Hebrews 7:11–17). He has established a new temple, the church (Ephesians 2:19–22), including both Jew and Gentile.
It was over 500 years before Zechariah’s prophecy found fulfillment in Jesus. This reminds us that God’s people need patience while waiting for his promises to be fulfilled, but it also reminds us of God’s faithfulness. This should encourage us when we experience times of waiting.
Think of prayers which were answered after a long wait. Thank God for His faithfulness. Ask for His help in developing patience as a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22, 23).
Lord, we believe that You are both the great High Priest and the sinless sacrifice all in one person.
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