Monday after the Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Zechariah 1-5 (NKJV)
1:1 In the eighth month of the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came to Zechariah the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying,
2 “The LORD has been very angry with your fathers. 3 Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Return to Me,” says the LORD of hosts, “and I will return to you,” says the LORD of hosts. 4 “Do not be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets preached, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Turn now from your evil ways and your evil deeds.”‘ But they did not hear nor heed Me,” says the LORD. 5 “Your fathers, where are they? And the prophets, do they live forever? 6 Yet surely My words and My statutes, which I commanded My servants the prophets, did they not overtake your fathers?
“So they returned and said: ‘Just as the LORD of hosts determined to do to us, according to our ways and according to our deeds, so He has dealt with us.'”‘”
7 On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Shebat, in the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came to Zechariah the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet:
8 I saw by night, and behold, a man riding on a red horse, and it stood among the myrtle trees in the hollow; and behind him were horses: red, sorrel, and white.
9 Then I said, “My lord, what are these?”
So the angel who talked with me said to me, “I will show you what they are.”
10 And the man who stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, “These are the ones whom the LORD has sent to walk to and fro throughout the earth.”
11 So they answered the Angel of the LORD, who stood among the myrtle trees, and said, “We have walked to and fro throughout the earth, and behold, all the earth is resting quietly.”
12 Then the Angel of the LORD answered and said, “O LORD of hosts, how long will You not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which You were angry these seventy years?” 13 And the LORD answered the angel who talked to me, with good and comforting words.
14 So the angel who spoke with me said to me, “Proclaim, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts: “I am zealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with great zeal. 15 I am exceedingly angry with the nations at ease; For I was a little angry, and they helped—but with evil intent.”
16 ‘Therefore thus says the LORD: “I am returning to Jerusalem with mercy; My house shall be built in it,” says the LORD of hosts, “And a surveyor’s line shall be stretched out over Jerusalem.”‘
17 “Again proclaim, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts: “My cities shall again spread out through prosperity; The LORD will again comfort Zion, and will again choose Jerusalem.”‘”
18 Then I raised my eyes and looked, and there were four horns. 19 And I said to the angel who talked with me, “What are these?”
So he answered me, “These are the horns that have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.”
20 Then the LORD showed me four craftsmen. 21 And I said, “What are these coming to do?”
So he said, “These are the horns that scattered Judah, so that no one could lift up his head; but the craftsmen are coming to terrify them, to cast out the horns of the nations that lifted up their horn against the land of Judah to scatter it.”
2:1 Then I raised my eyes and looked, and behold, a man with a measuring line in his hand. 2 So I said, “Where are you going?”
And he said to me, “To measure Jerusalem, to see what is its width and what is its length.”
3 And there was the angel who talked with me, going out; and another angel was coming out to meet him, 4 who said to him, “Run, speak to this young man, saying: ‘Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls, because of the multitude of men and livestock in it. 5 For I,’ says the LORD, ‘will be a wall of fire all around her, and I will be the glory in her midst.'”
6 “Up, up! Flee from the land of the north,” says the LORD; “for I have spread you abroad like the four winds of heaven,” says the LORD.
7 “Up, Zion! Escape, you who dwell with the daughter of Babylon.” 8 For thus says the LORD of hosts: “He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye. 9 For surely I will shake My hand against them, and they shall become spoil for their servants. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent Me.
10 “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion! For behold, I am coming and I will dwell in your midst,” says the LORD. 11 “Many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and they shall become My people. And I will dwell in your midst. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent Me to you. 12 And the LORD will take possession of Judah as His inheritance in the Holy Land, and will again choose Jerusalem. 13 Be silent, all flesh, before the LORD, for He is aroused from His holy habitation!”
3:1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him. 2 And the LORD said to Satan, “The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?”
3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the Angel. 4 Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, “Take away the filthy garments from him.”
And to him He said, “See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes.”
5 And I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head, and they put the clothes on him. And the Angel of the LORD stood by.
6 Then the Angel of the LORD admonished Joshua, saying, 7 “Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘If you will walk in My ways, and if you will keep My command, then you shall also judge My house, and likewise have charge of My courts; I will give you places to walk among these who stand here.
8 ‘Hear, O Joshua, the high priest, you and your companions who sit before you, for they are a wondrous sign; For behold, I am bringing forth My Servant the BRANCH.
9 ‘For behold, the stone that I have laid before Joshua: Upon the stone are seven eyes. Behold, I will engrave its inscription,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘And I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.
10 ‘In that day,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘Everyone will invite his neighbor under his vine and under his fig tree.'”
4:1 Now the angel who talked with me came back and wakened me, as a man who is wakened out of his sleep. 2 And he said to me, “What do you see?”
So I said, “I am looking, and there is a lampstand of solid gold with a bowl on top of it, and on the stand seven lamps with seven pipes to the seven lamps. 3 Two olive trees are by it, one at the right of the bowl and the other at its left.”
4 So I answered and spoke to the angel who talked with me, saying, “What are these, my lord?”
5 Then the angel who talked with me answered and said to me, “Do you not know what these are?”
And I said, “No, my lord.”
6 So he answered and said to me: “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts.
7 ‘Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone with shouts of “Grace, grace to it!”‘”
8 Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying: 9 “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; His hands shall also finish it. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent Me to you.
10 For who has despised the day of small things? For these seven rejoice to see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. They are the eyes of the LORD, which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth.”
11 Then I answered and said to him, “What are these two olive trees—at the right of the lampstand and at its left?”
12 And I further answered and said to him, “What are these two olive branches that drip into the receptacles of the two gold pipes from which the golden oil drains?”
13 Then he answered me and said, “Do you not know what these are?”
And I said, “No, my lord.”
14 So he said, “These are the two anointed ones, who stand beside the Lord of the whole earth.”
5:1 Then I turned and raised my eyes, and saw there a flying scroll.
2 And he said to me, “What do you see?”
So I answered, “I see a flying scroll. Its length is twenty cubits and its width ten cubits.”
3 Then he said to me, “This is the curse that goes out over the face of the whole earth: ‘Every thief shall be expelled,’ according to this side of the scroll; and, ‘Every perjurer shall be expelled,’ according to that side of it.” 4 “I will send out the curse,” says the LORD of hosts; “It shall enter the house of the thief and the house of the one who swears falsely by My name. It shall remain in the midst of his house and consume it, with its timber and stones.”
5 Then the angel who talked with me came out and said to me, “Lift your eyes now, and see what this is that goes forth.”
6 So I asked, “What is it?”
And he said, “It is a basket that is going forth.” He also said, “This is their resemblance throughout the earth:
7 “Here is a lead disc lifted up, and this is a woman sitting inside the basket”; 8 then he said, “This is Wickedness!” And he thrust her down into the basket, and threw the lead cover over its mouth.
9 Then I raised my eyes and looked, and there were two women, coming with the wind in their wings; for they had wings like the wings of a stork, and they lifted up the basket between earth and heaven.
10 So I said to the angel who talked with me, “Where are they carrying the basket?”
11 And he said to me, “To build a house for it in the land of Shinar; when it is ready, the basket will be set there on its base.”
The prophet and priest Zechariah ministers to God’s people after their return from their Babylonian captivity. He speaks to God’s people during the rebuilding of the Temple. Zechariah’s eight prophetic visions lay out the future of God’s plan for His future kingdom: the Church! These visions present with pictures what the Small Catechism describes with the words, “In the same way He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith.”
The Israelite forefathers had received seventy years of exile for their unrelenting, unrepentant rejection of God. Here, their children are exhorted to repentance and faith in God’s Word. In the first vision, God calls the people by promising to show mercy on Zion and Jerusalem. In the second, God defeats the anti-Christian rulers (horns) who have scattered God’s people, so that they might be gathered. In the third, God has the Gospel message of Jesus’ advent proclaimed throughout the world—”Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion! For behold, I am coming and I will dwell in your midst” (2:10). Having become God’s people, they are enlightened. In the fourth, Satan is rebuked and the people are sanctified by the forgiveness of sins “in a single day” (3:9). In the fifth, the anointing oil of the Holy Spirit will equip and sustain God’s people. It is “not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,” (4:6) that He keeps them strong in the Christian faith.
We pray: O Almighty Lord, who directs all history to serve Your purposes, lead me to repent of my sins and trust in Jesus Christ that Your kingdom might come to me, also. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.