ZECHARIAH 4:1-5:11 | REVELATION 14:1-20 | PSALM 142:1-7 | PROVERBS 30:21-23
We continue in the book of Zechariah, and find that chapter 4 is an account of a dream-like encounter that Zechariah has with an angel who explains to him the meaning of the gold lampstand and the two olive trees.
This angel seems quite impatient with Zechariah in the manner in which he asks him “do you not know what these are” but explains the meaning to him nonetheless!
I believe the most striking proclamation in this passage is this: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty. Nations and armies and wealth and power are of no match whatsoever to the Spirit of the Lord. That is one phenomenon true even to this day!
The next chapter contains the account of the flying scrolls — how fascinating is that?! But the scrolls seem to have a menacing quality to them being tossed around as they are to serve notice on those who are in violation of the rules set out for them.
The next account is an equally fascinating one of the woman in a basket and still other women with wind in their wings. Commentary on this suggests that these might be symbolic of modern equipment of warfare such as missiles with warheads and such. Incidentally, Babylon is modern-day Iraq.
Today’s passage in Revelation is yet another graphic one. Imagine tens of thousands of these spirit beings following the Lamb of God. Just like that nursery rhyme “Mary had a little lamb”, only here it was Mary and all her tens of thousands of chosen brothers and sisters who were following the Lamb!
John records it like this: They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among mankind and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. 5 No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless.
David’s Psalm for today is one that every one of us can identify with in our moment of weakness and even despair. He doesn’t shirk from telling God exactly how he feels and how dejected he is. He says:
3 When my spirit grows faint within me,
it is you who watch over my way.
In the path where I walk
people have hidden a snare for me.
4 Look and see, there is no one at my right hand;
no one is concerned for me.
I have no refuge;
no one cares for my life.
And yet, he knows that his cry for help will not go unanswered:
5 I cry to you, LORD;
I say, “You are my refuge,
my portion in the land of the living.”
And for good measure, he says it again:
6 Listen to my cry,
for I am in desperate need;
rescue me from those who pursue me,
for they are too strong for me.
7 Set me free from my prison,
that I may praise your name.
Then the righteous will gather about me
because of your goodness to me.
May it be that we would also lift our voices to seek God’s help whenever we might need it!
Finally, a few verses from the book of Proverbs that offer humor as much as wisdom. Solomon, wise king of Israel, says:
21 “Under three things the earth trembles,
under four it cannot bear up:
22 a servant who becomes king,
a godless fool who gets plenty to eat,
23 a contemptible woman who gets married,
and a servant who displaces her mistress.
May God bless the reading and reflection of His Word. Amen.