Zechariah was one of the Prophets of Israel, along with Haggai who prophesied in the book of Ezra chapter five. His prophesies go from the days of Ezra to the second coming of Christ and Christ’s reign as king of the earth.
Zechariah was number eleven of the twelve Minor Prophets in the Bible. He was the son of Berechiah and the grandson of Iddo, who was also a prophet. Zechariah was the author of the book of Zechariah. The meaning of the name Zechariah is “God Has Remembered.”
In the book of Zechariah, Zechariah has eight dreams or visions from the LORD. During this time the LORD sent messages through Zechariah and other prophets to His people. You will notice in this Scripture that the word LORD is in all capital letters, which refers to Yahweh, God the Father. When the word is not capitalized in the Bible it refers to Jesus, God’s son, as Lord and master.
It was the eighth month of the second year of King Darius’ reign, around 520 B.C. This was around the same time as Haggai’s prophesies. The LORD speaks to Zechariah saying He has been so displeased with his fathers, the people of Israel. He tells Zechariah to tell them to turn back to the LORD so He can turn back to them.
The LORD tells Zechariah not to be like his fathers, who told the people to turn from their evil ways and turn back to God, but they didn’t listen. The LORD reminds Zechariah that their fathers and the prophets are dead, but His words and statues are eternal. Whether the people heard the words of the LORD from their fathers or the prophets or read it from a book, it still stands and they are accountable to it. God encourages Zechariah to call His people to repentance. Blessings only come from God through our obedience to Him and His ways.
Remember, these are the children of God who came out of captivity from Babylon. They weren’t bad people, but they had turned away from God’s ways and His will for their lives. Because of their circumstances they felt distant from God and He reminds them through Zechariah that He is right there waiting for them to turn back to Him. James 4:8 tells us, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. “
In the eleventh month, that is Sebat on the Jewish calendar, on the twenty-fourth day, Zechariah had a dream of a man riding a red horse, which stood among myrtle trees. Myrtle trees are small evergreen shrubs or trees. The myrtle trees are thought to be a symbol of the children of Israel. The man was the angel of the LORD who stood among the myrtle trees which symbolized that the LORD was still among them. Behind Him were red horses with white speckles. Zechariah asked, “LORD what are these?” The angel of the LORD answered him and said that He would show him what they are.
The angel of the LORD tells Zechariah that these are the ones who the LORD has sent to walk about on the earth. The angel said they have been walking around the earth and it is still just sitting at rest. The angel of the LORD asked God, “How long will you have mercy on Jerusalem and the cities of Judah which you have been angry with for seventy years?” We’ll explore the answer in Lesson 2.
Daily Bible Reading: Zechariah 1:1-12
1 In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying,
2 The LORD hath been sore displeased with your fathers.
3 Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the LORD of hosts.
4 Be ye not as your fathers, unto whom the former prophets have cried, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings: but they did not hear, nor hearken unto me, saith the LORD.
5 Your fathers, where are they? and the prophets, do they live for ever?
6 But my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not take hold of your fathers? and they returned and said, Like as the LORD of hosts thought to do unto us, according to our ways, and according to our doings, so hath he dealt with us.
7 Upon the four and twentieth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Sebat, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying,
8 I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in the bottom; and behind him were there red horses, speckled, and white.
9 Then said I, O my lord, what are these? And the angel that talked with me said unto me, I will shew thee what these be.
10 And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, These are they whom the LORD hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth.
11 And they answered the angel of the LORD that stood among the myrtle trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest.
12 Then the angel of the LORD answered and said, O LORD of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years?
Things to think about:
- How did God deliver the message to Zechariah?
- Have you ever had a dream you thought was from God? If so, what was it about?
- Have you ever strayed away from God? If so, how did you get back in fellowship with Him?
- Who is the intercessor today between us and God?
Prayer of the Day:
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You for this Scripture in the book of Zechariah where we see that You used Your prophet to speak to Your people. We see that You urged them to return to You. We see that You had patience with them and didn’t give up on them. Help us to turn from our sin and turn to You and study Your Word and do Your will. In Jesus’ name, we pray. We love You, LORD. Amen.