The book of Zephaniah was written to the Jews who had returned from captivity in Babylon. The principle message was one of hope for the future of the nation of Israel, but Zechariah also writes to stir up their love for God who had delivered and preserved them, and who would deliver and preserve them.
Zechariah himself was part of the new generation of those born back in the land, but he opens this book by giving the warning that Israel’s forefathers had not heeded the warnings of the prophets, and as a result had brought judgment upon themselves – specifically the 70 years of captivity in Babylon. To whom much had been given much was required! Israel should have been a witness and a blessing to the world, instead they had become an object of ridicule among the nations – nations whom God had then used to judge His people. But those nations had gone too far; they had overstepped their remit and dealt cruelly with Israel. God was not ignorant of this and through Zechariah a solemn warning is given that God will not sit idly by while the gentiles afflict His people Israel.
God gives the young (17 yrs old?) Zechariah a series of 8 visions in one night that prophetically span the time from the return from Babylon to the 1st coming of the Messiah, to the 2nd coming of the Messiah. In these visions God unveils his love for His people Israel, His view of the gentile nations who had scattered and afflicted His people, and His plan to restore and bless national Israel, in fulfilment of His promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
The eight visions are:
1. Man Riding on a Red Horse 1:7–17
2. Four Horns and Four Craftsmen 1:18–21
3. Man with a Measuring Line Chap. 2
4. Joshua the High Priest Chap. 3
5. The Golden Lampstand & 2 Olive Trees Chap. 4
6. The Flying Scroll 5:1–4
7. The Woman in a Basket 5:5–11
8. The Four Chariots 6:1–8
As we go through each of these visions, we will see that they are all connected and each successive vision builds on the one before, painting a picture of the past, present and future of Israel.
Categories | 1 Kings
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