“The Visions For Israel/SBBC”
(The vision of the Horses)
- I want to start out by saying that this message was inspired of God during my daily bible study time while being convicted of what God has for us at SBBC.
- I have recently felt convicted of my own sins, and noticed the sins of the church as a whole. Some I have personally witnessed. Some others had informed me of or made sure that I was aware of someone else’s sins.
- And so, I have become concerned for the direction of our church. I do not believe that we understand the ramifications of our condition.
- Do we want a church? I see complacency (satisfaction) and apathy (No feeling, no interest, no enthusiasm, and much indifference)
- What are we going to do about those who care not for our Lord and His calling for our church’s (SBBC) repentance and renewal?
- The name Zechariah means… “The Lord Remembers.” The Lord doesn’t forget. He forgives, He gives grace and mercy, but he doesn’t forget. He remembers.
- Zechariah was a priest like Jeremiah and Ezekiel who were members of the Great Synagogue which was a council of about 120 men originated by Nehemiah and presided over by Ezra. This council later developed into the ruling elders of the nation later to be called the Sanhedrin.
- Zechariah 1:1-6… Gives us an idea of what this prophecy of Zechariah is about.
- It is a call to repentance by God’s people, and to never again repeat the past sins of their fathers.
- Someone may say… “What does this O.T. prophecy have to do with us today?” Look at I Corinthians 10:11 (KJV)…Now all these things happened unto them Israelites) for ensamples (examples to us today): and they are written for our admonition (warning), upon whom the ends of the world are come.
- I am sure that in Zechariah’s day God was angry with His people as much as He may be today. In God’s anger He is justified un giving us what we deserve.
- God gives Zechariah 8 visions for the comfort of God’s people (Israel) to return to the land God promised them. And might I add, that God has promised us to cleanse us by the blood of Jesus and live holy as He is holy.
I. The Vision of Horses
A) When God is displeased (unhappy or upset)
- How many of you here today (Members of SBBC) Believe that God is pleased with your service, pleased with your heart’s condition, pleased with the status of our church, or even pleased with our spiritual growth?
- How many of you think that we doing fine?
- If you think that everything in our church is “hunky dory,” or “peachy keen” think again.
- After several years and especially the past year, I have examined, and I know the Lord has examined, the condition of our people just like God has examined the condition of Israel here in Zechariah’s prophecy.
- Let us look at Zechariah 1,
- Verse 2…The LORD hath been sore displeased with your fathers. The word “fathers” here is a metaphor that encompasses (includes or involves) the entire generation of children, parents, aunts, uncles, and etc.
- God has said the same thing to me that He said here to Zechariah….3) Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, Do you know what this means? We as Israel here are not turned to Him. We are not what we should be. We are not acting like His children. I am not the priest (or pastor) I should be. WHY TURN TO GOD?
- In turning to God, we will put off His judgment against our people and the He promises to do what? “… and I will turn unto you, saith the LORD of hosts.
- Can I ask the children here this morning to look at your parents spiritual condition, and then ask yourself “Is God pleased with their condition?” God says… 4) Be ye not as your fathers, unto whom the former prophets have cried, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings: but they did not hear, nor hearken unto me, saith the LORD. The term here “they did not hear” means that they didn’t even come within shouting distance to hear the word of God. They had become complacent and satisfied with their spiritual condition to a point where they were spiritually lost. The term “they did not harken” means that when they did come to church, they didn’t obey the word of God being preached and did what they wanted to do.
- Look at verse 5) Your fathers, where are they? Where are they today? Apparently, they were not in church. They were nowhere near God’s house, nowhere near the spiritual condition that God expects from His people. Now here is a good question “…and the prophets, do they live for ever? Let me ask you something. Do you think that I will live forever? Do you think God will allow me to be you pastor forever? NO! Then, why do you ignore the preaching of God’s word? Why do not come to our services or activities? Why do you let others encourage you to do wrong things?
- Look at the same issues that Israel had…6) But my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not take hold of your fathers? and they returned and said, Like as the LORD of hosts thought to do unto us, according to our ways, and according to our doings, so hath he dealt with us. What is wrong with this generation that believes that all they have to do is come to church when they feel like it, look holy (Not necessarily BE holy), live like the devil through the week, and repent later when you feel like it.
- Do they not understand that their parents have not experienced the hand of God against them for “doing as they please?”
B) The man among the myrtle trees
- This first vision is about a man among the myrtle trees and horses depicting God’s promise of prosperity to Israel.
- Look down into verse 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.
- These visions are visions of Zechariah from God telling Zechariah to rebuild the temple and anticipate (look forward to) for the Messiah’s return when all of God’s promises to His people will be fulfilled.
- Let us examine this verse 8…
- “I saw by night,” – All 8 of the visions that we are going to study were envisioned in one night.
- “… and behold a man riding upon a red horse,” – This man riding on the horse is “the Angel of the Lord (mentioned in verse. 11)” And we know because of our study that the “Angel of the Lord” is Jesus Christ. Also note that the other riders report to Him meaning that He is of authority over them.
Red Horse – Red symbolizes bloodshed, meaning a war horse. This also symbolizes judgment. (Isa. 63:1-4 and Rev. 6:3)
- “…and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in the bottom;” – myrtle trees were associated with the “booth-making” at the “feasts of the tabernacles,” and with the messiah’s blessing. Myrtle trees also symbolize peace which God’s people will have.
“In the bottom” where these trees were popular was a place where shrubs would flourish. This took on the meaning that Israel was to be a lowly people but rich in their blessings of God.
- “…and behind him were there red horses, speckled, and white. – This is the Lord’s army and the different horses is believed to depict the different ranks of soldiers.
C) We are supposed to be peaceful
- May I point out to you this morning (Members of SBBC). We are to be as a myrtle tree, peaceful.
- Many of us are not at peace in our homes, at work, or in our visitation and certainly not at peace when we come to God’s house.
- As of just recently, I have visited and talked with several members who are not at peace with others which has also led to some not coming to church, some to be unfaithful, and others to be disgruntled and unhappy.
- Hey folks…Don’t you remember the words of Jesus in John 15:11…These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. 12) This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
D) Angels of God walk the earth
- Now look in our text again of Zechariah 1, Verse 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.
- These beings that “walk to and fro” meaning that they walk back and forth going to earth then heaven and then from heaven to earth and from one place to another in the earth are “angels of God.” These angels are to find out for certain what Satan is up to and also to respond if he attacks one of God’s children.
- I would dare say that there are angels of God right now in this room. I would even go further to say that there are God’s angels at your work, at your home, in your car and following you everywhere you go and witness everything you do and say.
E) The earth sits still
- Verse 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 does this mean “the earth sits still?”
- All the world is at rest, or rather comfortable with their normal routine of life and daily pleasures while Israel or God’s people are still afflicted and occupied with their own selfish interests. (noted in verses 14-17)
- To be a child of God takes work, strong self-control, and a desire to be separated from the world.
- Verse 12) Then the angel of the LORD answered and said, O LORD of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years? 13) And the LORD answered the angel that talked with me with good words and comfortable words.
- The Angel of the Lord (Jesus Christ) interceded to God the Father on behalf of Israel for their sins, and for God to withdraw Himself from chastening (punishing them).
- What was it that the Angel of the Lord talked to Zechariah about? The words of comfort are found in verses 14-17…
- Verse 14) So the angel that communed with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy. 15) And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction. God gets angered when His people are mistreated. God is angered because the “heathen (worldly)” are mistreating His children.
- We have got to be careful how we treat one another. At SBBC some of you treat another like they are a “heathen (Idol worshiping worldly imbecile.)”
- God used the world at that time and others today to mistreat His children as judgment or testing.
- The problem is that God always has his limitations and times for judgment. It is never to be a punishment forever when it comes to His children. It is but for a season (time).
- After the punishment, God always shows His love and compassion for His children by giving them blessings.
F) The temple is rebuilt
- 16) Therefore thus saith the LORD; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, saith the LORD of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem. 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.
- It is time for SBBC to be rebuilt. It is time for the Lord to return to our services and our people.
G) A “fast” is in order
- I am going to ask that starting today we at SBBC who are concerned for the welfare and condition of our church to fast this week.
- Look into Joel as we close today’s message from the Lord…Joel 2:15 (KJV)Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly:
- I would like to “proclaim a fast” or as mentioned here in Joel “sanctify a fast” (Meaning to separate it as a holy effort on our part).
- Today, I would like for us to close out our regular service as usual with an altar call for people to get their hearts right with God.
- Then, instead of going out to eat (as usual) we will take a small break to go to the bathroom and get a drink or whatever and then come back in here to the Victory Chapel.
- We will then ask that everyone participate in reading a verse of scripture that God lays on your heart to read.
- Then I would ask that everyone pray for everyone or someone in the church with whom you have an issue with. (Do not pray that God punishes them or does something bad to them because you know that is called “vexation” and God will not reward your prayer.)
- I would also ask for you to pray for my family and I as we try to lead this church the way He would see fit.
- Pray for all of us to be more holy.
- Pray for each other to be strong in their resistance to the devil.
- Pray for each of us to be separate from the world.
- Pray that all of us will become “one in Christ.”
- Pray that we will continue in the study and practice of God’s word.
After our prayers are finished we may go home.
But the fast is to be continued every day this week… skip one meal and spend the time in prayer for every member or one person or family in particular.