“The Visions for Israel / SBBC”
(The vision of the Horns)
- Before we get started with our study of the “Vision of the Horns” I would like to review jut a little bit to clarify some things before we start.
- These visions of Zechariah are not the visions of God’s punishment or judgement upon Israel. These visions are for comfort to Zechariah and the children of Israel in that God is going to secure them, and protect them and punish anyone who raises a hand (fights) against Israel.
- Our study last week showed God being displeased (not happy) with the Gentiles because of their continual suppression and rejection of the Jews.
- A very good summary of the first 16 verses are really said well as we read in Zechariah 1:17…Cry yet, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the LORD shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem.
- Let us break it down…
- “Thus saith the LORD of hosts;” meaning…This is what the Lord is telling you. There is no command here, only information (FYI) for Judah. Might I also add that when God tells you something and makes it perfectly clear as He did here in verse 17, It is to keep us from worrying and needless planning for disasters and such. God says “I’m in control here.”
- “My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad;” Notice the key word “MY,” meaning personal possession. If you attack or curse my people I will attack or curse you. You bless my people I will bless you. God is telling them that His people (Should they remain faithful to God and live according to His statutes/laws) will be given blessings of God as they start to grow and rebuild Judah which the Gentiles have destroyed. It is easy to get depressed when something you own is destroyed. It is easy getting depressed when you have something you love or are comfortable with is ruined. God is basically saying in this verse “I am going to make sure the cities are growing and your needs will be met, and your seed (family) will grow and spread throughout the land I have given you.
- “…and the LORD shall yet comfort Zion,” The word “Zion” in the Bible always refers to a mountain in Jerusalem. Jerusalem is often referred to as “God’s earthly throne.” This will be fulfilled in the millennial Kingdom when the Messiah will reign in Rev. 20.
- “… and shall yet choose Jerusalem.” The meaning of this verse is clear in its meaning to say that Jesus chose Jerusalem for His city the first time and will choose it again (yet) when he comes the second time to reign.
- It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that every Gentile in the world (even today) is trying to take over Israel. Mostly today because of its richness in oil supply.
- We also are familiar with the verse in Genesis 12:3 (KJV) …And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. This was God’s promise to Israel and a warning for those who deal with Israel. This includes every generation from the time of Genesis 12:3 to the time of God’s destruction of this earth.
I. The Vision of the Horns
A) The number four
- Zechariah 1:18…Then lifted I up mine eyes, and saw, and behold four horns.
- Each time Zechariah says “lifted up my eyes,” it means that he was looking at a new vision.
- Horns are always a symbol of power and pride. Since this chapter is dealing with judgment, then we know that the “power and pride” is a description of someone, or some government that is bringing judgment.
- Many commentators have given this a meaning of the ruling powers of the world.
- Some have said that the “four horns” represent the four directions of heaven and the four corners of the earth. This would mean that the four horns are countries or people attacking Israel from every corner on all sides.
- This would basically mean that no matter where Israel turned, they would be facing their enemies. Nowhere to run, nowhere for a safe harbor except the Lord.
B) Are we like Israel and pressed on every side?
- When God’s people will not submit to Him, will not honor Him, will not worship Him, will not pray to Him, will not thank Him… He will get their attention one way or another and make His people to know that He is God and that He demands their attention.
- I am amazed at how many people who go to church and live their lives as they please and give God their “leftovers.” In other words, they give God what time they have left. They give God whatever money is left after they have paid their bills went out to eat, and bought things they didn’t need. Then these same people have the gall to wonder why they never can get ahead and their life remains in the gutter for the most part. DUH!
- You cannot rob God of His worship, His support, his conversation, or any of His commandments and expect to be “happy go lucky.”
- When we get “pressed on every side” is when doctor bills pile up and never get paid, house issues arise, cars break down, there’s not enough money left over when we get paid, friends abandon you, and the pressure becomes too great.
- All this is happening because God’s people are doing what they think is right and not what God says is right. This is why so many people fail to be successful in life. They put God on a shelf until they need Him or want to feel holy that day or week. God will not listen.
C) What are these four horns?
- Verse 19) And I said unto the angel that talked with me, What be these? And he answered me, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.
- These horns “which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem” are the four powers by which the Jews had been oppressed; the Assyrians, Persians, Chaldeans, and Egyptians.
- Looking at this situation should be a reminder to us that “People will be people.” Meaning that there are always going to be people that offend you, mock you, ridicule you, depress you, or try to control you and that cause you to “scatter” (leave, or get out of the way).
- God promises His people protection. That does not mean that people will quit picking on you. It means that he will be there to protect you and support you and Christ will fight your battles for you if you let Him.
D) Four Carpenters
- Look now at Zechariah 1:20…And the LORD shewed me four carpenters.
- Understand first that the 4 horns represent four countries or governments that attack Israel.
- These 4 carpenters are four countries that protect Israel from the 4 horns.
- Again, we see God’s protection for His people.
- Do you understand why it is important for God’s people to be faithful to Him in worship, in prayer, in obedience, in love, and in surrender?
- The word “carpenters” here in Zechariah is ḥārāsh in the Hebrew language. It is a term for stone, metal, and wood workers. All these workers use hammers to do their work.
E) A Hammer
- A hammer represents strength and power.
- Power and strength is something you must work hard to obtain.
- Your muscles are not going to get big and produce strong results if you are lazy and do nothing.
- In order for you to gain strength physically you must work hard to get it by lifting weights, hard labor, repetitious lifting and pulling and striving to reach a goal.
- Spiritual strength is something you must also work hard to get. God demands worship, honor and glory to Him, obedience and etc. We know that don’t we? Then why do we fail to keep His commandments?
- To receive strength from God you must know and practice what you know to be true. You cannot have the strength of Samson by having the faith of “doubting Thomas.”
- Strength and power is only as good as the person wielding it. Let us look at what a hammer does.
- Look at Judges 4:21 (KJV) …Then Jael Heber’s wife took a nail of the tent, and took an hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the nail into his temples, and fastened it into the ground: for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died.
- Here we can see a hammer that is used to drive tent stakes by a woman who was apparently a stake driver for the group. She knew how to use the hammer for driving tent stakes but used it for an evil purpose.
- God has given you deaf of SBBC a deaf church. The hammer of spirituality is in your hands. Do you know how to use it? Are you using it right?
- It takes work to be a member at any church. Hearing or deaf does not matter. Are you gaining power to accomplish God’s will in your life or are you struggling to succeed according to your plans for your life?
- The Bible is our “hammer.” You must know how to use it. You must know the power of its contents. You also must know which end to use properly to get the desired results.
- A common hammer has a head at one end and a claw at the other end. You must know how to use it. The perfection of using it only comes with practice and study of it’s ability to be used for the purpose intended.
- Jeremiah 23:29 (KJV) …Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?
- God’s word is what? The Bible. God asked Jeremiah a good question expecting a yes answer that delivers the truth “…Is not my word like as a fire?”
- Why does God send fire to His children? To destroy or put to silence evil and to purify the hearts of the wicked.
- Now note that God said is word is what? “…like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?”
- “The rock” here is representative of the stony hearts of the people in Jerusalem and the stubbornness of the priests in repentance over their false teachings and leading the people astray in their messages.
- Oh SBBC, I can only warn you of the judgment of God upon this church should we be led astray by other deaf who think they know God and His ways and live otherwise.
- Jeremiah 51:20 (KJV) …Thou art my battle axe and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms;
- In this verse God called Cyrus of Persia His “battle ax.”
- A battle ax is a weapon of war. We as Christians are at war with Satan.
- A battle ax has two sides. One is a hammer, the other a blade. The hammer is used for hammering tent stakes or beating on something bent to straighten it out. The other end of a battle ax is used to cut wood for your fire and then it can also be used in battle to chop off the head of your enemy.
- Just so we haven’t lost our train of thought here on this verse (Jer. 51:20), What was God telling Cyrus? God was encouraging Him and letting Cyrus know that God is with you all the way.
- It is vitally important SBBC members, that you carry your “hammer (Bible),” study your hammer, know your hammer, and experience swinging your hammer.
- I cannot believe how many people go to church without their hammer (Bible).
- Folks we are at war with the forces of evil and need to fight against evil and win. You cannot fight if you do not know how to use your “battle ax (Bible).”
F) The purpose of the carpenters
- Look now back at our text in Zechariah 1:21…Then said I, What come these (the four carpenters) to do? And he spake, saying, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, so that no man did lift up his head: but these are come to fray them, to cast out the horns of the Gentiles, which lifted up their horn over the land of Judah to scatter it.
- Now let us break down this verse 21…
- Zechariah asks “What come these (the four carpenters) to do?” Remember this is a vision and God wants Zechariah to understand it so that when He wakes up from his nap, he will understand what God’s message is about.
- “the horns” are the forces of evil (Led by Satan) have caused God’s people to run for their life and brought shame to them (Can’t lift up their head in honor, or respect).
- “…but these are come to fray them,” To “fray” means to “pound.” It also has the meaning of “breaking” and pounding so hard that it is reduced to powder.” These horns were like iron in toughness and hard to destroy. Satan is not a weakling. He is like iron. You need a “hammer” to defeat him! But, Praise the LORD we have the “Hammer (Bible).” If wielded properly it can destroy the enemy.
- “…to cast out the horns of the Gentiles,” The purpose of the carpenters wielding a hammer is to get rid of the horns (evil).
- Look people… the message is clear as I can make it this morning. If you want a deaf church that will give God the glory and reach other deaf souls for Christ… CARRY YOUR HAMMER!
- Defeat the “horns (evil)” in your life by repenting and use your hammer like never before.
- Zechariah here in these verses we have studied this morning is warning Jerusalem and Judah to straighten out the priests, straighten out the people of God so that God’s protection can remain for His people that He loves so greatly.
- Do you want the protection of God? Grab a hammer (Bible) know it’s power, use it with the God given skill He gave you, and defeat the enemy.