Zechariah 1** This prophecy is suitable to all, as the scope is to reprovefor sin, and threaten God's judgments against the impenitent,and to encourage those that feared God, with assurances of themercy God had in store for his church, and especially of thecoming of the Messiah, and the setting up his kingdom in theworld. * An exhortation to repentance. (1-6) A vision of the ministryof angels. (7-17) The security of the Jews and the destructionof their enemies. (18-21)1-6 God's almighty power and sovereign dominion, should engageand encourage sinners to repent and turn to Him. It is verydesirable to have the Lord of hosts for our friend, and verydreadful to have him for our enemy. Review what is past, andobserve the message God sent by his servants, the prophets, toyour fathers. Turn ye now from your evil ways, and from yourevil doings. Be persuaded to leave your sins, as the only way toprevent approaching ruin. What is become of our fathers, and ofthe 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 samehouses, trading in the same shops and exchanges, worshipping Godin the same places. But where are they? When they died, therewas not an end of them; they are in eternity, in the world ofspirits, the unchangeable world to which we hasten apace. Whereare they? Those of them who lived and died in sin, are intorment. Those who lived and died in Christ, are in heaven; andif we live and die as they did, we shall be with them shortlyand eternally. If they minded not their own souls, is that areason why their posterity should ruin theirs also? The prophetsare gone. Christ is a Prophet that lives for ever, but all otherprophets have a period put to their office. Oh that thisconsideration had its due weight; that dying ministers aredealing with dying people about their never-dying souls, and anawful eternity, upon the brink of which both are standing! Inanother world, both we and our prophets shall live for ever: toprepare for that world ought to be our great care in this. Thepreachers died, and the hearers died, but the word of God diednot; not one jot or title of it fell to the ground; for he isrighteous. 7-17 The prophet saw a dark, shady grove, hidden by hills. Thisrepresented the low, melancholy condition of the Jewish church.A man like a warrior sat on a red horse, in the midst of thisshady myrtle-grove. Though the church was in a low condition,Christ was present in the midst, ready to appear for the reliefof his people. Behind him were angels ready to be employed byhim, some in acts of judgment, others of mercy, others in mixedevents. Would we know something of the mysteries of the kingdomof heaven, we must apply, not to angels, for they are themselveslearners, but to Christ himself. He is ready to teach thosehumbly desirous to learn the things of God. The nations nearJudea enjoyed peace at that time, but the state of the Jews wasunsettled, which gave rise to the pleading that followed; butmercy must only be hoped for through Christ. His intercessionfor his church prevails. The Lord answered the Angel, this Angelof the covenant, with promises of mercy and deliverance. All thegood words and comfortable words of the gospel we receive fromJesus Christ, as he received them from the Father, in answer tothe prayer of his blood; and his ministers are to preach them toall the world. The earth sat still, and was at rest. It is notuncommon for the enemies of God to be at rest in sin, while hispeople are enduring correction, harassed by temptation,disquieted by fears of wrath, or groaning under oppression andpersecution. Here are predictions which had reference to therevival of the Jews after the captivity, but those events wereshadows of what shall take place in the church, after theoppression of the New Testament Babylon is ended. 18-21 The enemies of the church threaten to cut off the name ofIsrael. They are horns, emblems of power, strength, andviolence. The prophet saw them so formidable that he began todespair of the safety of every good man, and the success ofevery good work; but the Lord showed him four workmen empoweredto cut off these horns. With an eye of sense we see the power ofthe enemies of the church; look which way we will, the worldshows us that; but it is only with an eye of faith that we seeit safe. The Lord shows us that. When God has work to do, hewill raise up some to do it, and others to defend it, and toprotect those employed in doing it. What cause there is to lookup in love and praise to the holy and eternal Spirit, who hasthe same care over the present and eternal interests ofbelievers, by the holy word bringing the church to know thewonderful things of salvation!
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