SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
1:1 In the eighth month of Darius’ second year, the Lord’s message came to the prophet Zechariah, son of Berechiah son of Iddo:
2 “The Lord was very angry with your ancestors. 3 Therefore say to the people: The Lord of Heaven’s Armies says, ‘Turn to me,’ says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, ‘and I will turn to you,’ says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 4 Do not be like your ancestors, to whom the former prophets called out, saying, ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has said, “Turn now from your evil wickedness.”’ But they would by no means obey me,” says the Lord. 5 “As for your ancestors, where are they? And did the prophets live forever? 6 But have my words and statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, not outlived your fathers? Then they paid attention and confessed, ‘The Lord of Heaven’s Armies has indeed done what he said he would do to us, because of our sinful ways.’”
7 On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, the month Shebat, in Darius’ second year, the Lord’s message came to the prophet Zechariah, son of Berechiah son of Iddo:
8 I was attentive that night and saw a man seated on a red horse that stood among some myrtle trees in the ravine. Behind him were red, sorrel, and white horses.
9 Then I asked one nearby, “What are these, sir?” The angelic messenger who replied to me said, “I will show you what these are.” 10 Then the man standing among the myrtle trees spoke up and said, “These are the ones whom the Lord has sent to walk about on the earth.” 11 The riders then agreed with the angel of the Lord, who was standing among the myrtle trees, “We have been walking about on the earth, and now everything is at rest and quiet.” 12 The angel of the Lord then asked, “O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, how long before you have compassion on Jerusalem and the other cities of Judah that you have been so angry with for these 70 years?” 13 The Lord then addressed good, comforting words to the angelic messenger who was speaking to me. 14 Turning to me, the messenger then said, “Cry out that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says, ‘I am very much moved for Jerusalem and for Zion. 15 But I am greatly displeased with the nations that take my grace for granted. I was a little displeased with them, but they have only made things worse for themselves.
16 “‘Therefore,’ this is what the Lord has said, ‘I have become compassionate toward Jerusalem and will rebuild my temple in it,’ says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. ‘Once more a surveyor’s measuring line will be stretched out over Jerusalem.’ 17 Speak up again with the message of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies: ‘My cities will once more overflow with prosperity, and once more the Lord will comfort Zion and validate his choice of Jerusalem.’”
18 (2:1) Once again I looked and this time I saw four horns. 19 So I asked the angelic messenger who spoke with me, “What are these?” He replied, “These are the horns that have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.” 20 Next the Lord showed me four blacksmiths. 21 I asked, “What are these going to do?” He answered, “These horns are the ones that have scattered Judah so that there is no one to be seen. But the blacksmiths have come to terrify Judah’s enemies and cut off the horns of the nations that have thrust themselves against the land of Judah in order to scatter its people.”
2:1 (2:5) I looked again, and there was a man with a measuring line in his hand. 2 I asked, “Where are you going?” He replied, “To measure Jerusalem in order to determine its width and its length.” 3 At this point the angelic messenger who spoke to me went out, and another messenger came to meet him 4 and said to him, “Hurry, speak to this young man as follows: ‘Jerusalem will no longer be enclosed by walls because of the multitude of people and animals there. 5 But I,’ the Lord says, ‘will be a wall of fire surrounding Jerusalem and the source of glory in her midst.’”
6 “You there! Flee from the northland!” says the Lord, “for like the four winds of heaven I have scattered you,” says the Lord. 7 “Escape, Zion, you who live among the Babylonians!” 8 For the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: “For his own glory he has sent me to the nations that plundered you—for anyone who touches you touches the pupil of his eye. 9 Yes, look here, I am about to punish them so that they will be looted by their own slaves.” Then you will know that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has sent me.
10 “Sing out and be happy, Zion my daughter! For look, I have come; I will settle in your midst,” says the Lord. 11 “Many nations will join themselves to the Lord on the day of salvation, and they will also be my people. Indeed, I will settle in the midst of you all. Then you will know that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has sent me to you. 12 The Lord will take possession of Judah as his portion in the holy land and he will choose Jerusalem once again. 13 Be silent in the Lord’s presence, all people everywhere, for he is being moved to action in his holy dwelling place.”
3:1 Next I saw Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, with Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. 2 The Lord said to Satan, “May the Lord rebuke you, Satan! May the Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Isn’t this man like a burning stick snatched from the fire?” 3 Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood there before the angel. 4 The angel spoke up to those standing all around, “Remove his filthy clothes.” Then he said to Joshua, “I have freely forgiven your iniquity and will dress you in fine clothing.” 5 Then I spoke up, “Let a clean turban be put on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the Lord stood nearby. 6 Then the angel of the Lord exhorted Joshua solemnly: 7 “The Lord of Heaven’s Armies says, ‘If you follow my ways and keep my requirements, you will be able to preside over my temple and attend to my courtyards, and I will allow you to come and go among these others who are standing by you. 8 Listen now, Joshua the high priest, both you and your colleagues who are sitting before you, all of you are a symbol that I am about to introduce my servant, the Branch. 9 As for the stone I have set before Joshua—on the one stone there are seven eyes. I am about to engrave an inscription on it,’ says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, ‘to the effect that I will remove the iniquity of this land in a single day. 10 In that day,’ says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, ‘everyone will invite his friend to fellowship under his vine and under his fig tree.’”
4:1 The angelic messenger who had been speaking with me then returned and woke me, as a person is wakened from sleep. 2 He asked me, “What do you see?” I replied, “I see a menorah of pure gold with a receptacle at the top. There are seven lamps at the top, with seven pipes going to the lamps. 3 There are also two olive trees beside it, one on the right of the receptacle and the other on the left.” 4 Then I asked the messenger who spoke with me, “What are these, sir?” 5 He replied, “Don’t you know what these are?” So I responded, “No, sir.” 6 Therefore he told me, “This is the Lord’s message to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by strength and not by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
7 “What are you, you great mountain? Because of Zerubbabel you will become a level plain! And he will bring forth the temple capstone with shoutings of ‘Grace! Grace!’ because of this.” 8 Moreover, the Lord’s message came to me as follows: 9 “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundations of this temple, and his hands will complete it. Then you will know that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has sent me to you. 10 For who dares make light of small beginnings? These seven eyes will joyfully look on the tin tablet in Zerubbabel’s hand. These are the eyes of the Lord, which constantly range across the whole earth.”
11 Next I asked the messenger, “What are these two olive trees on the right and the left of the menorah?” 12 Before he could reply I asked again, “What are these two extensions of the olive trees, which are emptying out the golden oil through the two golden pipes?” 13 He replied, “Don’t you know what these are?” And I said, “No, sir.” 14 So he said, “These are the two anointed ones who stand by the Lord of the whole earth.”
5:1 Then I turned to look, and there was a flying scroll! 2 Someone asked me, “What do you see?” I replied, “I see a flying scroll 30 feet long and 15 feet wide.” 3 The speaker went on to say, “This is a curse traveling across the whole earth. For example, according to the curse whoever steals will be removed from the community; or on the other hand (according to the curse) whoever swears falsely will suffer the same fate.” 4 “I will send it out,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “and it will enter the house of the thief and of the person who swears falsely in my name. It will land in the middle of his house and destroy both timber and stones.”
5 After this the angelic messenger who had been speaking to me went out and said, “Look, see what is leaving.” 6 I asked, “What is it?” And he replied, “It is a basket for measuring grain that is moving away from here.” Moreover, he said, “This is their ‘eye’ throughout all the earth.” 7 Then a round lead cover was raised up, revealing a woman sitting inside the basket. 8 He then said, “This woman represents wickedness,” and he pushed her down into the basket and placed the lead cover on top. 9 Then I looked again and saw two women going forth with the wind in their wings (they had wings like those of a stork), and they lifted up the basket between the earth and the sky. 10 I asked the messenger who was speaking to me, “Where are they taking the basket?” 11 He replied, “To build a temple for her in the land of Babylonia. When it is finished, she will be placed there in her own residence.”
6:1 Once more I looked, and this time I saw four chariots emerging from between two mountains of bronze. 2 Harnessed to the first chariot were red horses, to the second black horses, 3 to the third white horses, and to the fourth spotted horses, all of them strong. 4 Then I asked the angelic messenger who was speaking with me, “What are these, sir?” 5 The messenger replied, “These are the four spirits of heaven going out after presenting themselves before the Lord of all the earth. 6 The chariot with the black horses is going to the north country, and the white ones are going after them, but the spotted ones are going to the south country. 7 All these strong ones are scattering; they have sought permission to go and walk about over the earth.” The Lord had said, “Go! Walk about over the earth!” So they are doing so. 8 Then he cried out to me, “Look! The ones going to the northland have brought me peace about the northland.”
9 The Lord’s message came to me as follows: 10 “Choose some people from among the exiles, namely, Heldai, Tobijah, and Jedaiah, all who have come from Babylon, and when you have done so go to the house of Josiah son of Zephaniah. 11 Then take some silver and gold to make a crown and set it on the head of Joshua the high priest, the son of Jehozadak. 12 Then say to him, ‘The Lord of Heaven’s Armies says, “Look—here is the man whose name is Branch, who will sprout up from his place and build the temple of the Lord. 13 Indeed, he will build the temple of the Lord, and he will be clothed in splendor, sitting as king on his throne. Moreover, there will be a priest with him on his throne and they will see eye to eye on everything. 14 The crown will then be turned over to Helem, Tobijah, Jedaiah, and Hen son of Zephaniah as a memorial in the temple of the Lord. 15 Then those who are far away will come and build the temple of the Lord so that you may know that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has sent me to you. This will all come to pass if you completely obey the voice of the Lord your God.”’”