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The Man Amidst The Myrtle Trees – Zechariah 1:7-17

23/03/2015

The Man Amidst The Myrtle Trees

Zechariah 1:7-17

In this study, we begin to look at the eight visions of Zechariah. In this passage we see:-

1. Christ in the Midst of His Church! 1:8

Three months have passed since Zechariah’s first vision. Now, the Word of the Lord comes to him again.

  1. Zechariah had a Vision! I saw by night. How many of us spend our time DREAMING of what might be, instead of having a VISION for what the Lord wants us to do?
    1. Vision is VITAL! The Bible tells us (Proverbs 29:18) that Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. We must never make this an excuse for ‘experiential or direct-revelation style vision-casting’ – the emphasis is on keeping the law, obeying the written word, through Christ, and thus have a biblical vision for the Lord’s Work!
    2. Vision brings VICTORY! If we stop dreaming about what the church could be like, and grasp a firm vision of what God requires of us in his WORD!

Zechariah’s vision was a very particular vision indeed!   You will notice that this vision is all about horses, and to the people of that day, horses meant WAR! It is a war between Satan and God and the objective of the devil in this war to grasp your soul and to keep it! In particular, Zechariah saw:-

  1. A Man on a Red Horse! 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. 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. Who was this mysterious rider? Later, in verse 10-11 he is called, “The Angel (Messenger) of the Lord.” Let’s see some facts about this Heavenly Man, and see if we can get a clue to His identity:-
    1. He was upon a Red Horse. Red is the colour of blood, and is thus associated with judgement! Isaiah 63:1-2 Rev. 6:4  
    2. He was amidst the Myrtle Trees! The myrtle trees were in a ravine, so this man was near the city, but not in it. Myrtle trees were just small trees. almost a weed. Isaiah had prophesied that the Myrtle tree would be the symbol of the Lord’s restored people. Isaiah 41:19 Isaiah 55:13. So the people of the Lord are not yet quite in the place where they ought to be (Jerusalem – the place of blessing), in the depths of a valley a sorrowful place – a depressed and miserable state and yet the MESSENGER OF THE LORD IS IN THEIR MIDST! The Myrtle Tree was the most ugly of trees, but it had a beautiful flower, and a gorgeous scent! But to get that perfume, the flower of the Myrtle had to be crushed. Is it not true that the church is often at its sweetest in time of great persecution?  What a fragrance comes forth from a persecuted Christian who takes his or her stand for Jesus!
    3. There were other horses with Him!   There is a troop of horsemen, a great Host that accompanies this Messenger, and they are mounted, they are swift to carry out His commands!

So who is this Angel of the Lord, this Messenger of God who comes and stands among the People of God in their pit of distress, and brings them a Vision of Hope for their future?   It is CHRIST! And when His church is in deepest need, when it is in the Valley of despair, there he is in the midst of His church, with all the hosts of heaven at His command!   Rev. 1:12-13

If this is Christ, why is He on a red horse? The red horse speaks to us of war, of conflict, of BLOOD, of death! Here Christ is coming TO SAVE HIS PEOPLE! With His own BLOOD! To conquer His enemies, to rescue His people, Christ must come on a red horse, to rescue them through blood and death!

2.  Complacency in the Unconverted World!

Zechariah, now enters into conversation with the Messenger of the Lord! He prays, and he asks what are these horses and riders? Hear the answer…

  1. The Purpose of the Host of the Lord! 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 These horsemen are patrolling the whole earth and reporting back to the Lord Himself! Look at their report:-
  2. The World is AT EASE! 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. When the world is at ease, the world is RIPE FOR JUDGEMENT! Luke 17:26-30 Everyone is enjoying life and prosperity and making the best of their good fortune, until suddenly they realise that life has reached its end and there is a God and He demands justice!

Do you see how relevant this message is for today? If ever there was an age when the world was totally self centred, and self satisfied and indifferent toward its God and its creator, this is it!

3. Comfort for the People of God!

But what of the people of God, in this complacent, easy going, indifferent world God spoke in comforting words. He assures us that:

  1. God is ZEALOUS for His people! Thus saith the Lord of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction. Now the word can be zealous or jealous.   He will not tolerate any other false god getting any of their worship. Exodus 34:14   He loves them with a great zeal, and that zeal sent His Son to die for them. Isaiah 9:7
  2. God is RETURNING to His people! Therefore thus saith the Lord; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, saith the Lord of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem. The Lord is coming back to His people, who have for so long been out of fellowship with him.
  3. God is RE-ESTABLISHING His people! Thus saith the Lord of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the Lord shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem. The hardships and difficulties of God’s people are only temporary. God will even yet bless and comfort His church, and even yet shall choose her!

What a tremendous encouragement for the Church! God is with us!   Let us be encouraged!

From → Zechariah

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