"Prophetability - lessons of strength and power in the minor prophets!"
We should start at the beginning: Zechariah 1:1 says; In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Zechariah son of Berechiah, son of Iddo. Much can be known about the purpose of Zechariah’s prophecy from just this singe verse in Chapter 1. Before I explain it should be understood that Zechariah is known as a “Post-Exilic” prophet. Haggai and Malachi are also. They prophesied AFTER the exile of God’s people in Babylon. One thing unique about Zechariah, however, is that he was both a prophet and a priest. This is a fitting piece of information considering the forth-coming church age and how the primary source of the prophetic office is the preacher of God’s Word.
Zechariah is to look at following Haggai because, as Haggai started the momentum of rebuilding the temple, Zechariah came on the scene during the time when the repairs had ceased and the people had gotten discouraged. Have you ever been motivated to do something only to get discouraged halfway through? Well, this message is for you! It is a reminder of the fact that God REMEMBERS, that God BLESSES, and that God is ALWAYS ON TIME! How do I know this? I’m glad you asked.
Sometimes, while reading the Bible, we skip the chronologies, don’t we? But some incredible information can be discovered with an understanding of what the names in Zechariah 1:1 mean. The name; “Zechariah” means “God Remembers.” There are also two other individuals whose names are given at the beginning of this prophecy. Berechiah, the father of Zechariah, has a name that means: “God Blesses.” His grandfather’s name, “Iddo” means; “at the appointed Time.” These three names and their meanings say a lot about the meaning and purpose of Zechariah’s prophecy. First of all, verse 1 reminds us that there is Strength in the assurance we have that God Remembers.
In Verse 2, the prophet states that “The Lord was extremely angry with your ancestors.”It makes me think about how easy it is to lose your memory when you are angry but that is not so with God. Although we may infuriate God we constantly inspire him as His children and that never changes.
God will never cast us away when he is angry, when we have failed him, when we have betrayed him. That is a message of great hope! Zechariah was a prophet of hope.
For well over a decade the temple had remained incomplete and God sent Zechariah to encourage the people to finish the temple. That message was brought to the people in a message that was apocalyptic in style. When we think of “apocalyptic” we may think of Revelation and Daniel with their visions of horsemen and beasts with horns and all sorts of battles. But the way Zechariah is apocalyptic is by its message pointing to the future.
The writings of Zechariah not only points to the rebuilding of the present temple but also the rebuilding of Israel’s future.
There are 2 major sections in Zechariah. Chapters 1-8 deal with apocalyptic visions about present rebuilding. Chapters 9-14 are more futuristic and seems to point to the millennial reign of Christ on the earth. One thing to note about apocalyptic scripture is that it wasn’t all meant to make the reader fearful. Zechariah’s apocalyptic message about the future was not a scary and terrible message. Instead, His apocalyptic message was one of hope and encouragement.
Zechariah 12: 10 sounds very encouraging when it states; “Then I will pour out a spirit of grace and prayer on the house of David and the residents of Jerusalem…”Zechariah 13: 1 is also encouraging. “On that day a fountain will be opened for the house of David, for the residents of Jerusalem, to wash away sin and impurity.” God remembers that we need his Grace and He remembers that we need Him to wash away our sins. God so remembers humanity’s need for grace and forgiveness that even in the millennial reign of Christ people will be saved.
In Zechariah 14 we are told that there will be animal sacrifices. Why? Because the people who came through the Great Tribulation will have to make the choice to accept Christ and, just as the old testament sacrifices pointed forward to Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, the millennial animal sacrifices will point backward to Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. This says God will remember! In addition, there is strength in the assurance that God blesses.
From the very beginning God has had plans to bless us! Zechariah’s father Berechiah, whose name means; “God Blesses,” is a clear reminder of that fact. In Exodus 23:25 God said; “Serve the Lord your God, and he will bless your bread and your water. I will remove illnesses from you.”What does that mean? I think that it is a reference to God’s intention to cover His people with blessing. Remember in Ruth when Ruth uncovered Boaz’ feet and lay at his feet…it was a request to come under his covering. God knows that without Him we are exposed and vulnerable and He desires to cover us. That is the purpose of the millennial reign of Christ, to cover, or to bless, His people with His presence and His grace and His love! For 1000 years the world will know nothing but peace! That is Zechariah’s message of HOPE!
Lastly, there is strength in the assurance that God is always on time. Zechariah’s Grandfather’s name; “Iddo,” meant; “at the appointed time.”
God has always had a plan for man! His plan for man has always been to Redeem us, Restore us, and Reign with us! His plan is the same for you but God’s plans take time!
Zechariah 14:1 states; “Look, a day belonging to the Lord is coming when the plunder taken from you will be divided in your presence…”Zechariah 14:3-4 states; “Then the Lord will go out to fight against those nations as he fights on a day of battle. On that day His feet will stand on the mount of olives. The mountain will split, half will go to the North and half to the south.”Verse 5 says; “Then the Lord my God will come and all the holy ones with him.”At the appointed time all who have trusted Christ and placed our faith in God will be redeemed, restored, and will reign with Jesus!
You see, it won’t be just Christ coming in Glory to defeat the anti-Christ and the enemies of Israel. It will be you too! That has been God’s plan from the beginning. One day we will reign in STRENGTH AND POWER! - Dr. Hughes
Rev. Wiley Hughes
D.Min., Psy.D., FBPPC, LPCA, NCC
Apostolic Leader of Destiny Now