Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

I guess I will always remember The Book Of Zechariah for one thing – being the last book of the Bible I read.

It certainly seems well-placed towards the end of the Old Testament, and just before the gap where the deuterocanonical episodes come. It speaks of the end of God’s people’s current suffering, of their international future, and of the final judgement and resolution described in Revelation.

Zechariah’s visions start out sounding a little confused. Not just the imagery - it’s hard to tell at times whether the speaker is God, his angel, or Zechariah himself.

For this is what the LORD Almighty says: "After he has honored me and has sent me against the nations that have plundered you—for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye- I will surely raise my hand against them so that their slaves will plunder them. [Or says after…eye: “I…plunder them.”] Then you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me.

- Zechariah 2:8-9

At one point I dropped into the Message version, and found the handle God-Of-The-Angel-Armies being used.

Not to belittle the value of learning through having to think about something, I guess we all find stuff easier to comprehend when it’s more spoon-fed:

and I am very angry with the nations that enjoy quiet and peace. For while I was holding back my anger against my people, those nations made the sufferings of my people worse.

- Zechariah 1:15

“Long ago I gave these commands to my people: ‘You must see that justice is done, and must show kindness and mercy to one another. Do not oppress widows, orphans, foreigners who live among you, or anyone else in need. And do not plan ways of harming one another.’

“But my people stubbornly refused to listen. They closed their minds and made their hearts as hard as rock. Because they would not listen to the teaching which I sent through the prophets who lived long ago, I became very angry. Because they did not listen when I spoke, I did not answer when they prayed. Like a storm I swept them away to live in foreign countries. This good land was left a desolate place, with no one living in it.”

- Zechariah 7:9-14

Rejoice, rejoice, people of Zion!
Shout for joy, you people of Jerusalem!
Look, your king is coming to you!
He comes triumphant and victorious,
But humble and riding on a donkey.
The LORD says,
“I will remove the war-chariots from Israel
And take the horses from Jerusalem;
The bows used in battle will be destroyed.
Your king will make peace among the nations;
He will rule from sea to sea,
From the River Euphrates to the ends of the earth.”

- Zechariah 9:9-10

Well, that hasn’t quite happened today, but it does beg a question:

Will it happen, or has it happened, or did we stop it happening, or is it slowly coming to be?


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