Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Evening Sermon Notes -

Zechariah: Paving The Path Toward A Blessed Future
Part II: Encouraging God's People About The Coming Messianic Kingdom, Zechariah 1:7-6:15
A. God's Wrath Toward Their Oppressors And His Desire To Bless His People
(Zechariah 1:7-17)
  1. Introduction
    1. At times God's people face such strong oppression, they wonder if He is concerned about their sufferings.
    2. Such was Israel's experience after the Babylonian Captivity and after she had returned to do God's will of rebuilding the temple, so God gave Zechariah a vision to reveal He was very angry at Israel's oppressors, and that He was equally motivated to establish the Messianic Kingdom (as follows):
  2. God's Wrath Toward Their Oppressors And His Desire To Bless His People, Zechariah 1:7-17.
    1. Beginning at Zechariah 1:7, the Lord gave Zechariah eight visions in one night (Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 1549) designed to reveal His plans to take Israel from where she currently obeyed His will to rebuild the temple (Hag. 2:14 with Zech. 1:7) to the establishment of her Messianic Kingdom, Ibid.
    2. The first vision in Zechariah 1:7-17 revealed that though upright Israel was still oppressed by Gentiles, God was very angry about it, and earnestly desired to judge the oppressors and establish Israel's Kingdom:
      1. The first vision presented a rider on a red horse standing in a ravine surrounded by myrtle trees awaiting a reconnaissance report from three other riders on red, speckled and white horses, Zech. 1:7-8.
      2. Zechariah 1:11a identifies this primary rider as the Preincarnate Christ, the Angel of the Lord, and the three subordinate riders are then angels who send Him a report concerning Israel's status, Zech. 1:12.
      3. Israel is represented by the myrtle trees growing down in a ravine, a repressed state! (Merrill F. Unger, Zechariah, 1974, p. 27) Myrtle was used to construct booths for the Feast of Tabernacles that predicted the Messianic Kingdom (Ibid., p. 28; Neh. 8:15), so Israel's hope for her Kingdom that was repressed by Gentile domination is richly supplied in the symbol of the myrtle trees growing down in a ravine!
      4. The report came that the earth was at rest was troublesome to Christ, for God's plan to establish Israel's Kingdom included upsetting her oppressors, Zech. 1:9-11 with Hag. 2:21-22; Ibid., Unger, p. 29!
      5. Accordingly, the Preincarnate Christ, the Angel of the Lord on the red horse, interceded with God the Father to ask how long would He wait before having mercy on Jerusalem with whom He had been angry the seventy years of the past Babylonian Captivity, Zechariah 1:12 with Jeremiah 25:11; 29:10.
      6. The Father then answered the angel who spoke with Zechariah, giving him gracious, comforting words to give to Zechariah and he in turn to Israel (Zech. 1:13 ESV), words appearing in Zechariah 1:14-17:
        1. God wanted the people of Israel to know that He had a burning zeal to protect His covenant of loyal love with the nation, a covenant to establish her Messianic Kingdom, Zechariah 1:14, 17.
        2. Accordingly, God was equally very angry at Israel's Gentile oppressors who were at ease in their oppressions against her, for though God had assigned the Gentiles to punish Israel in the Babylonian Captivity, they had overstepped God's bounds in oppressing Israel, Zechariah 1:15.
        3. Consequently, God promised six blessings for His people, Ibid., B. K. C., O. T., p. 1551: (1) God's presence that had left Jerusalem before its fall to Babylon would return to the city in mercy, Zech. 1:16a versus Ezekiel 11:22-23. (2) God would see that the temple reconstruction effort was helped so the temple could be completed, Zech. 1:16b. (3) Jerusalem would see a measuring line stretched over it, so it would be rebuilt, Zech. 1:16c. (4) Israel would again prosper, Zech. 1:17a. (5) The dwellers of Jerusalem would be comforted by the Lord, Zech. 1:17b) and (6) God would again "choose" Jerusalem, namely, He would fulfill His covenant promises to Israel, Ibid., Unger, p. 34.
Lesson: When God's people are unrighteously oppressed, it DEEPLY CONCERNS Him: He is VERY ANGRY at the oppressors and VERY DESIROUS of BLESSING His people! However, such blessings for His own and punishment for the oppressors is available as it was in Zechariah's day ONLY if God's people HEED His will to get back to doing His will (like Israel's resuming her work on God's temple)!

Application: (1) If we believers TODAY are sinfully oppressed, (a) GOD wants us to know HE is VERY ANGRY at the wrongs and (b) VERY DESIROUS to BLESS us (c) PROVIDING we HEED His WILL. (2) Thus, if facing oppressors, may we EXAMINE our lives and ADJUST as needed for God's blessing!