21 Sep

Scroll to the bottom for thoughts/discussion questions!

One-sentence summary: The Lord promises in the end times to bring his people back to Jerusalem, where they will dwell with Him and be His people- and He will be their God- forever.

Zecharia sees a flying scroll. The angel tells him it is the curse that goes out over all the earth. He says every thief will be expelled according to one side of the scroll, and the perjurers, according to the other side. The Lord has said He will send out the curse. It will enter their houses, the house of the thief and one who swears falsely by the Lord's name, to consume their houses. The angel tells Zechariah to lift his eyes and see a basket and a lead cover and a woman sitting in the basket. He says it is wickedness. He throws the lead cover over the basket. Then, Zechariah sees two women coming "with the wind in their wings," with wings like a stork, and they lift the basket between earth and heaven. Zechariah asks where they are going with it, and the angel says they are going to build a house for it in the land of Shinar. He says when it is ready, the basket will be set there on its base.

Then, Zechariah sees four chariots coming from between two mountains of bronze. With the first chariot are red horses, with the second black, with the third white, and with the fourth dappled, strong steeds. He asks the angel what they are. and he says they are four spirits of heaven who go out form their station before their Lord. They go that they might walk to and fro throughout the earth, and the angel commands them to do so. He says that those who go toward the north have given rest to the Lord's spirit there. He tells Zechariah to receive the gift from the captives from Babylon. He tells him to enter a man named Josiah's house with silver and gold and to make a crown to set on the head of Jeshua the high priest. The Lord says the Man whose name is the Branch will branch out from His place and build the temple of the Lord. He will bear the glory and sit and rule on His throne and be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace will be between them both. The elaborate crown will be for a memorial in the temple of the Lord. Even those from afar will come and build the Lord's temple. Then, they will know the Lord has sent the angel to them. If they diligently obey the Lord' voice, all this will come to pass.

In the fourth year of King Darius, the word of the Lord comes to Zechariah when the people send certain men to the house of God to pray before the Lord and ask the priests and the prophets in the house if they should weep and fast as they have done for so many years. The word of the Lord comes to Zechariah, and the Lord tells him to ask the people and priests if during the seventy years of captivity when they fasted and mourned in the fifth and seven months, if they really fasted to the Lord. And if when they eat and drink, if they do not do it for themselves. The Lord asks if they should not rather have obeyed the word of the Lord proclaimed through the former prophets when Jerusalem and the surrounding cities were inhabited and prospered, and south and lowland inhabited. Then, the word of the Lord comes to Zechariah again. The Lord says to "execute true justice, show mercy and compassion, everyone to his brother. 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. But they refused to heed, shrugged their shoulders, and stopped their ears so that they could not hear. 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. Therefore it happened that just as He proclaimed, and they would not hear." The Lord says, "So they called out, and I would not listen, but I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations which they had not known. Thus, the land became desolate... so that no one passed through or returned. For they made the pleasant land desolate."

The word of the Lord comes, and He says He is zealous for Zion with great zeal and fervor. He says He will return to Zion and dwell in the midst of Jerusalem, and Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, the Mountain of the Lord of hosts, the Holy Mountain. Old men and women will again sit in the streets with their staffs, and the streets will be full of children playing in them. It will be marvelous to the people and to the Lord. He will save His people from the east and west and bring them back, and they will dwell in Jerusalem. They will be His people, and He will be their God "in truth and righteousness." The Lord tells them to let their hands be strong, those who have been listening to the prophets since the foundation of the temple was laid. The Lord says He will not treat the remnant as in the former days. The seed will be prosperous; the vine will yield its fruit; the ground, its increase; and the heaven, its dew. The remnant will possess the land, and just as they were a curse among the nations, they will be saved and be a blessing. The Lord tells them not to fear and to let their hands be strong. Just as He determined to punish them, so He has determined to do them good. He tells them to "speak truth each man to his neighbor, to give judgment in their gates for truth, justice, and peace, not to think evil in their hearts against their neighbor, and not to love false oaths," because the Lord hates these things. The word of the Lord comes to Zechariah again. The Lord says the fast of the fourth, fifth, seventh, and tenth months will be joy, gladness, and cheerful feasts. "'Therefore love truth and peace,' says the Lord." The Lord says they will go to each other and encourage each other to go and seek Him. "Many people and strong nations will come to seek the Lord and pray before Him in Jerusalem." Ten men will grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man begging to go with him because they have heard God is with him.

Zechariah proclaims "the burden of the word of the Lord" against the nations. The Lord tells the daughter of Zion to rejoice greatly the daughter of Jerusalem to shout. "Behold! Your king is coming to you! He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey." He will speak peace to the nations, and His dominion will be from sea to sea and from the river to the ends of the earth. The Lord will set the prisoners free from the waterless pit. He says, "Return to the stronghold, you prisoners of hope! Even today, I declare that I will restore double to you!" The Lord will be seen over them, and His arrow will go forth like lightning. He will blow a trumpet and go with whirlwinds to defend them. The Lord will save them in that day like His flock. They will be like jewels in His crown, lifted as a banner over the land, "For how great is its goodness, and how great its beauty! Grain will make the young men thrive, and new wine, the young women!"

Thoughts/discussion questions:

"Return to the stronghold, you prisoners of hope!" The Lord is the only stronghold. Refuse to give up your hope in Him!

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