Tag Archives: Zechariah 6

Prophecy and Reality

Tell him this is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Here is the man whose name is the Branch, and he will branch out from his place and build the temple of the Lord. It is he who will build the temple of the Lord, and he will be clothed with majesty and will sit and rule on his throne. And he will be a priest on his throne. And there will be harmony between the two.’
Zechariah 6:12-13 (NIV)

I’ve been thinking a lot about leadership of late. With the dawn of 2018 I find myself stepping into not one, but two different leadership opportunities. Yesterday one of my colleagues asked me over the phone how I felt. I answered honestly. There’s a certain level of sobriety and humility that comes with any kind of leadership in which others are depending on you.

In today’s chapter Zechariah shares the last of a series of visions he recorded. Prophetic dreams and visions are an admittedly strange lot. Yesterday over morning coffee Wendy compared them to descriptions of what an acid trip is like. They certainly allow for wide-ranging conjecture, and my experience is that they only gain clarity in retrospect.

One of the things about ancient prophecy is that they often have layers of meaning. On one layer they reference current or recent events, but on another layer they reference future events on a broader scale. Jewish scholars long understood Zac’s vision in today’s chapter to be Messianic in nature. The political-religious system of the Ancient Hebrews was dualistic. The monarchy and civil government was the role for a king from David’s line. The high-priest responsible for spiritual leadership was from the line of Aaron. There were always two leaders.

In Zac’s vision there is a blending of the two leaders into one. A crown is fashioned and placed on the head one called “Branch,” who rebuilds the temple and is a “priest on his throne.” Monarchy and priesthood are made One.

Fast forward to Jesus, whom we just learned in our annual telling of the Christmas story is from the royal line of David. Magi come looking for a royal ” King of the Jews.” Jesus indeed spends His ministry proclaiming the “Kingdom of God” and tells the Jewish leaders “I will destroy this temple and rebuild it in three days.” The author of the book of Hebrews identifies Jesus as “high priest in the order of Melchizedek.” Royal line of David. Kingdom of God. High priest proclaiming that with His death and resurrection old things pass away and new things come. The old Temple system is destroyed and a new Temple has come; A Temple not made with bricks and mortar but with flesh and Spirit.

It’s Zechariah’s vision. Harmony of monarchy and priesthood. Two joined in One.

When you read Jesus’ story there is one thing that becomes abundantly clear. Jesus was not the Messiah most people were looking for. That’s the tricky thing with prophecy. You can think and believe it means one thing all you want…until it doesn’t.

Along this life journey I’ve learned that every leader has a target on his or her back. You don’t step into any leadership position with everyone thinking “Oh yeah, he/she is the perfect person; He/She is destined for the job.” There’s always at least some who are thinking, “He/She is not what I expected. I’m not sure about this.”  This morning I’m taking encouragement in the fact that even the King of Kings had to face that human reality.

Chapter-a-Day Zechariah 6

Effect of prevailing wind on a coniferous tree...
Image via Wikipedia

Then he called to me and said, “Look at them go! The ones going north are conveying a sense of my Spirit, serene and secure. No more trouble from that direction.” Zechariah 6:8 (MSG)

We live in interesting times. Technology, mass media, and communication have given our generation a better “global” perspective than any before it. A major event happens in a remote location on the other side of the world and in minutes everyone can have news, photographs and streaming video of the event thanks to the internet and sattelites.

As I read today about God sending out the one angel chariot Zechariah saw in his vision to send “a sense of [God’s] spirit,” I was reminded of efforts being made by many to track where God’s spirit is moving. Throughout history, great movements we’ve come to tag as “revivals” have been documented and chronicled. Huge numbers of people place their faith in Christ, lives are changed, miracles reported and local cultures are impacted. With the use of available technology, some are attempting to chronicle where God’s spirit is moving around the globe.

It is interesting to note that God has always referred to His Spirit in terms of the wind. When Jesus poured out His Spirit on his followers he breathed on them. When the Holy Spirit poured out on the masses in Acts 2 it came with the sound of a gale force wind. God’s Spirit blows where it will. It cannot be seen, but the effects of its presence become obvious to those in its midst and in its wake, like the tree pictured.

I’ve been told by friends who follow these things that God’s Spirit seems to be moving in the southern and eastern hemispheres in a big way. Today, I’m praying for God’s Spirit to move into my area like a great tropical depression.

Enhanced by Zemanta