How to read the Bible
- God centered view
- Contextual view
- Self focused view
Reading a self focused view first can lead to unpredictable and unreliable results. Its very difficult to see ourselves in the biblical narrative if we do not understand the relevant context.
Book of Zechariah
- If you are a prophetic person then Zechariah is the book for you.
- Zechariah is the second to last book of the Old Testament.
- 14 chapters and 8 prophetic dream visions.
- The visions go together in pairs. Vision 1 & 8, vision 2 & 7, vision 3 & 6, vision 4 & 5
- The book of Zechariah takes place just after the 70yr Babylonian exile (586BC) Prophesied by Jeremiah (Jeremiah 25:11, Jeremiah 29:10)
- Approximately 42,360 Jews returned to Israel to build the temple. This is decreed by Cyrus the Persian King who overthrew Babylon. (Ezra 1:2-4; cf. also 6:2-5)
- Zechariah – Prophet that is receives 8 visions and delivers Gods messages to Israel.
- Joshua – Isreals high preist High preist
- Zerubbabel – political and spiritual leader. Royal heir to davids throne.
Building of the temple
- Zerubbabel immediately begins work on the temple foundation and after finishing the foundation
- The Israelites are opposed by the samaritans who inhabited the land while Israel was in Exile.
- King Cyrus who released the initial decree to build the temple is dead and the samaritans write a letter to the new Persian king and get him to write a decree to stop work on the temple for 17yrs. (Ezra 4) The people lose heart.
- Cleansing of Israel’s leaders and people from sin. Its a fresh start, with full authority is reestablished to Israel’s leaders necessary to finish the task at hand. (Romans 6)
- Joshua is opposed by Satan. (Guilt and shame) using our past record of failure to disqualify us.
- How can you use a man like this to build your glorious temple? He is a failure!
Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan[a] standing at his right side to accuse him
“Who authorized you to rebuild this temple and to finish it?” 4 They also asked, “What are the names of those who are constructing this building?” 5 But the eye of their God was watching over the elders of the Jews, and they were not stopped until a report could go to Darius and his written reply be received.
The Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?”
Darius edict to Tattenai the Governor of the Trans-Euphrates
- v6 Stay away from there!
- v7 Do not interfere with the work on this temple of God!
- v8-9 Their expenses are to be fully paid out of the royal treasury, from the revenues of Trans-Euphrates, 9 Whatever is needed must be given to the Jews daily without fail.
- v11 Furthermore, I (Darius) decree that if anyone defies this edict, a beam is to be pulled from their house and they are to be impaled on it. And for this crime their house is to be made a pile of rubble.
- v12 I Darius have decreed it. Let it be carried out with diligence.
Read Ezra 5-6
- Israel’s leaders are commissions to walk in their God given assignment and to embrace the small components of their God given destiny.
- Being faithful in small and unrecognized things.
- Speaking grace is to speak with kindness into all situations and have authority over your own heart. We cannot expect to have authority over external storms if we don’t have authority over our internal storms. Luke 8:22-25