Journey Through The Scriptures

The Prophecy of Zechariah

Lesson 2: The Prophet’s Night Visions

(Scripture to Read: Zechariah 3:1–6:8)

With this study, we consider the remaining five of Zechariah’s eight amazing night visions dealing with the future of Israel and the Gentile nations. Those two fates could not be more different: Israel will be gloriously restored to her priestly status before God under Messiah, and the nations that rejected Him and troubled Israel will be vanquished. The cleansing of the high priest, Joshua, is highly symbolic of Israel’s cleansing. The accusation of Joshua is reminiscent of Job chapters 1 and 2, in which the patriarch is accused before God, but acquitted.

Just as Joshua was cleansed in Zechariah’s fourth night vision, so in chapter 4 the nation’s civil leader, Zerubbabel, was encouraged to finish the Temple in Jerusalem. This would be accomplished by the power of God’s spirit, and there would be great rejoicing when the Temple’s capstone was set in place. At last, Israel would be ready to resume her worship and priestly role before the Lord. The visions of chapter 5 depict judgment upon individuals within Israel who violate God’s law, and the woman in the basket seems to represent the removal of the entire nation’s sin. The nations again come under God’s judgment as Zechariah saw the mighty chariots of the Lord sweeping across the earth in divine retribution.

Study Questions

  1. What demands did the Lord make of Joshua as the high priest (3:7)?
  2. Why was it so important for Zerubbabel to lead the people in completing God’s Temple?
  3. What was the significance of the “flying scroll” in Zechariah 5:1?
  4. Why is “the land of the north” singled out for mention in the vision of 6:18?

Something to Think About

The powerful statement, “‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty” (Zechariah 4:6), serves to challenge us today as a call to depend on God’s power for our ultimate vindication. While God waits for mankind to act and accept responsibility as His partner, in the final analysis the victory rests with our great God.

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