February 24, 2022 – Thursday
Zechariah 1:12-13 NIV
12 Then the angel of the Lord said, “Lord Almighty, how long will you withhold mercy from Jerusalem and from the towns of Judah, which you have been angry with these seventy years?”
13 So the Lord spoke kind and comforting words to the angel who talked with me.
Today I am moving away from ‘light’ verses to those above. They arrived about 4:00 a.m. this morning via email via Alistair Begg’s Truth For Life Daily: Spurgeon Devotional and I was struck by the conversation between an angel, Zechariah, and the Lord. If you are interested, Zechariah is one of the ‘minor prophets’ so called because their writings are much less than those of the ‘major prophets.’ A list of the minor prophets and a summary of what each wrote and/or prophesied about may be found here.
Our verses today come from a vision Zechariah had on the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, the month of Shebat, in the second year of Darius (v7). In the vision he is having a conversation with an angel when he sees a man on a red horse with red, brown, and white horses behind him. Zechariah asked the angel he was talking with what he was seeing. The angel answered saying he would show him. Then the man answered, and it turns out the man was the angel of the Lord in human form. Many write and believe the angel of the Lord is the preincarnate Jesus, just as many believe it was Jesus in the fire with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the book of Daniel.
Beyond this the angel of the Lord reported what those on the horses behind him had to report, We have gone throughout the earth and found the whole world at rest and in peace (v11). This was true for in the second year of Darius there were no current political disturbances. Later Greek writers wrote of Darius commanding a very diverse and peaceful Persian empire. Nonetheless, the Jews in Judah were oppressed and still under foreign domination leading us to our verses for today: Then the angel of the Lord said, “Lord Almighty, how long will you withhold mercy from Jerusalem and from the towns of Judah, which you have been angry with these seventy years?” So the Lord spoke kind and comforting words to the angel who talked with me.
If the angel of the Lord is not Jesus, then he is clearly an angel of very special status to be interceding for the Jewish people directly to God Almighty, noting the time of their exile and captivity is over at the noted seventy years as prophesied by Jeremiah 25:11-12. Then something amazing happened, the Lord spoke kind and comforting words to the angel who talked with me. The angel of the Lord interceded and then the Lord replied to the angel speaking with Zechariah with kind and comforting words.
Those kind and comforting words may be found in verses 16-17 for Zechariah to share, “Therefore this is what the Lord says: ‘I will return to Jerusalem with mercy, and there my house will be rebuilt. And the measuring line will be stretched out over Jerusalem,’ declares the Lord Almighty. “Proclaim further: This is what the LordAlmighty says: ‘My towns will again overflow with prosperity, and the Lord will again comfort Zion and choose Jerusalem.’” Kind and comforting indeed!
Bottom Line: When you least expect it God will act. He will do it through His Son or through the angel of the Lord or through a prophet’s vision or in any unexpected way. Many or most of those exiled to captivity had surely lost hope or were the elderly children or fully grown adults of those who had been exiled. They only knew the stories and depended upon the likes of prophets like Zechariah that God had not forgotten His chosen people.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Let me always have faith that you are in charge and will keep your promises no matter what I am going through or experiencing. You are a wonderful, loving, and merciful God. Let me always remember that. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton