The year was 520 B.C. when the Lord called Zechariah to join Haggai to arouse the Jews who had returned to Jerusalem from their captivity in Babylon. Sixteen years had passed since Zerubbabel had led them back to their promised homeland. They had arrived with the authority of the Persian king. With enthusiasm the people settled in their cities and then gathered in Jerusalem where the priests had built the altar of the God of Israel. The morning and evening sacrifices were offered. The feast of Tabernacles was observed. Next, the foundation of the Temple was laid.
Then trouble arose from the people around them. The work was stopped. The prophet Haggai led them to renew their efforts to complete the mission God had for them – the rebuilding of the Temple. God’s temple and its services united them as a nation and was to separate them from the practices of the nations around them. Zechariah’s first words, (vs. 1-6) were to convince them of the truthfulness of God’s words. There in Babylon their fathers were forced to admit, “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.”
This lesson is for us. Our security is in God. We are to believe His words. The message of the man on the red horse, “the earth is at rest,” refers to the fact that the conflict concerning the Persian kingship was over. Darius the new king was more favorable to the Jews. The Lord said, “I am returning to Jerusalem, My house shall be built.” His people were to accomplish the mission for which He had brought them back. The four horns are explained as those who had worked against God’s people. The four carpenters-craftsmen, refer to Zerubbabel, Nehemiah, Haggai, and Zechariah.
The message is that God is very aware of events on earth. He is particularly aware of efforts to prevent His church from fulfilling the mission He has given to it. This chapter makes me ask myself: Is my first concern to have a good life in this present world? Or is my first concern, to support God’s last church and participate in giving the heaven sent messages of Rev.14:6-12 to all the earth?
Retired Pastor, USA