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Zechariah 1:7-11

God of Comfort

7 Upon the four and twentieth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Sebat, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying, 8 I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in the bottom; and behind him were there red horses, speckled, and white. 9 Then said I, O my lord, what are these? And the angel that talked with me said unto me, I will shew thee what these be. 10 And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, These are they whom the LORD hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth. 11 And they answered the angel of the LORD that stood among the myrtle trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest.

What was your most memorable dream? Nearly everyone has had a dream that they will never forget, perhaps one in which there seems to be an important but elusive message. Throughout history, God has spoken to His prophets in word as well as in dreams and/or visions. Some of those visions have been difficult for modern scholars to interpret.

The seventh verse of the first chapter of Zechariah introduces the first of eight night visions given to Zechariah beginning three months after the previous introductory prophecy and two months after the construction of the temple had resumed. Each of the eight visions must have made an extremely vivid impression on the prophet.

That the vision came to him by night is significant. First, the night's darkness combined with the shadows of the trees give us the impression of gloom, a time of trouble. In The Word Biblical Commentary, Ralph L. Smith says, "Rex Mason believes that the expression 'in the night' (v.8 ) suggests the idea of the prophet as a watchman for the dawn or for the enemy... Zechariah appears as a watchman through the long night of distress and is informed of the fist signs of God's return to His people."

John Calvin, on the other hand, thought that the night's darkness symbolized the lack of total clarity in the vision, since God does not reveal at once every detail of His intentions to us. Both interpretations are reasonable.

The vision began with a man riding a red horse and standing among the myrtle trees in a ravine. Some have speculated that this is the pre-incarnate Christ, because he appears to be the commander of the other angelic riders who were behind him. We should not think that there were only three horses. There were three colors, which could indicate the military rank of each rider, but we should not give the colors anymore significance than that.

The prophet himself did not understand the meaning of the vision and had to ask the angel in the myrtles what all these things were. The answer is one of great comfort. These angelic riders, sent by Yahweh, ride back and forth throughout the earth.

They are symbolic of an omniscient God who really does not need angels to report to Him. Instead they are there to let Zechariah and his readers know that God is aware of everything that is going on. What a comfort this should be to each of us, especially when we are going through trying times! God knows our troubles, He sees our suffering and He understands our weaknesses.

The fact that this angelic army can ride throughout the earth at will represents the sovereignty of God. A sovereign king can send his army to patrol at will throughout his kingdom. Likewise, God's army has control over the entire earth. He is in control of the troubles that we suffer. We are not alone.

The angels reported that the whole earth was peaceful and at rest. There was no danger from any foreign enemy. The dangers were in Judah's own relationship with God who knew their problems and was in control of their situation. Their solution would be to turn to Him.

Before the Throne:

Whatever you are suffering today, God knows about it and is in control of it. Turn to Him. It is okay to ask Him for an explanation of it. Perhaps the enemy is attacking you and God wants you to stand firm, or it could be that the world around you is at rest and your problems are self-imposed. Be ready to submit to Him and to receive His instruction. He loves you and will guide you safely down the right path.

For Further Study:

(v.8 )
** by night. Gen 20:3; 1Kgs 3:5; Job 4:13; Dan 2:19;7:2,13 ** behold. Zech 13:7; Josh 5:13; Psa 45:3-4; Isa 63:1-4; ** riding. Zech 6:2-7; Rev 6:4;19:19-21; ** among. Song 2:16; 6:2; Isa 41:19;55:13;57:15; Rev 2:1; ** speckled. Zech 6:6-7;

(v.9) ** what. Zech 1:19;4:4,11;6:4; Dan 7:16;8:15; Rev 7:13-14; ** the angel. Zech 2:3;4:5;5:5;6:4-5; Gen 31:11; Dan 8:16;9:22-23;10:11-14; Rev 17:1-7;19:9-10; Rev 22:8-16;

(v.10) ** the man. Zech 1:8,11;13:7; Gen 32:24-31; Hos 12:3-5; ** These. Zech 1:11;4:10;6:5-8; Job 2:1-2; Psa 103:20-21; Ezek 1:5-14; Heb 1:14;

(v.11) ** they answered. Zech 1:8,10; Psa 68:17;103:20-21; Matt 13:41,49;24:30-31;25:31; 2Thess 1:7; Re 1:1; ** We. Zech 6:7; Dan 10:20; ** is. Zech 1:15; 1Thess 5:3;


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