Zechariah 1

** This prophecy is suitable to all, as the scope is to reprove

for sin, and threaten God's judgments against the impenitent,

and to encourage those that feared God, with assurances of the

mercy God had in store for his church, and especially of the

coming of the Messiah, and the setting up his kingdom in the


* An exhortation to repentance. (1-6) A vision of the ministry

of angels. (7-17) The security of the Jews and the destruction

of their enemies. (18-21)

1-6 God's almighty power and sovereign dominion, should engage

and encourage sinners to repent and turn to Him. It is very

desirable to have the Lord of hosts for our friend, and very

dreadful to have him for our enemy. Review what is past, and

observe the message God sent by his servants, the prophets, to

your fathers. Turn ye now from your evil ways, and from your

evil doings. Be persuaded to leave your sins, as the only way to

prevent approaching ruin. What is become of our fathers, and of

the prophets that preached to them? They are all dead and gone.

Here they were, in the towns and countries where we live,

passing and repassing in the same streets, dwelling in the same

houses, trading in the same shops and exchanges, worshipping God

in the same places. But where are they? When they died, there

was not an end of them; they are in eternity, in the world of

spirits, the unchangeable world to which we hasten apace. Where

are they? Those of them who lived and died in sin, are in

torment. Those who lived and died in Christ, are in heaven; and

if we live and die as they did, we shall be with them shortly

and eternally. If they minded not their own souls, is that a

reason why their posterity should ruin theirs also? The prophets

are gone. Christ is a Prophet that lives for ever, but all other

prophets have a period put to their office. Oh that this

consideration had its due weight; that dying ministers are

dealing with dying people about their never-dying souls, and an

awful eternity, upon the brink of which both are standing! In

another world, both we and our prophets shall live for ever: to

prepare for that world ought to be our great care in this. The

preachers died, and the hearers died, but the word of God died

not; not one jot or title of it fell to the ground; for he is

7-17 The prophet saw a dark, shady grove, hidden by hills. This

represented the low, melancholy condition of the Jewish church.

A man like a warrior sat on a red horse, in the midst of this

shady myrtle-grove. Though the church was in a low condition,

Christ was present in the midst, ready to appear for the relief

of his people. Behind him were angels ready to be employed by

him, some in acts of judgment, others of mercy, others in mixed

events. Would we know something of the mysteries of the kingdom

of heaven, we must apply, not to angels, for they are themselves

learners, but to Christ himself. He is ready to teach those

humbly desirous to learn the things of God. The nations near

Judea enjoyed peace at that time, but the state of the Jews was

unsettled, which gave rise to the pleading that followed; but

mercy must only be hoped for through Christ. His intercession

for his church prevails. The Lord answered the Angel, this Angel

of the covenant, with promises of mercy and deliverance. All the

good words and comfortable words of the gospel we receive from

Jesus Christ, as he received them from the Father, in answer to

the prayer of his blood; and his ministers are to preach them to

all the world. The earth sat still, and was at rest. It is not

uncommon for the enemies of God to be at rest in sin, while his

people are enduring correction, harassed by temptation,

disquieted by fears of wrath, or groaning under oppression and

persecution. Here are predictions which had reference to the

revival of the Jews after the captivity, but those events were

shadows of what shall take place in the church, after the

oppression of the New Testament Babylon is ended.
18-21 The enemies of the church threaten to cut off the name of

Israel. They are horns, emblems of power, strength, and

violence. The prophet saw them so formidable that he began to

despair of the safety of every good man, and the success of

every good work; but the Lord showed him four workmen empowered

to cut off these horns. With an eye of sense we see the power of

the enemies of the church; look which way we will, the world

shows us that; but it is only with an eye of faith that we see

it safe. The Lord shows us that. When God has work to do, he

will raise up some to do it, and others to defend it, and to

protect those employed in doing it. What cause there is to look

up in love and praise to the holy and eternal Spirit, who has

the same care over the present and eternal interests of

believers, by the holy word bringing the church to know the

wonderful things of salvation!

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