September 29, 2017 Bible Study — Not By Force, Nor By Strength, But By The Spirit Of The Lord

I am using the daily Bible reading schedule from “The” for my daily Bible reading.

Today, I am reading and commenting on Zechariah 1-6.

    Zechariah’s first vision involves four horsemen. These are not the same four horsemen as those mentioned in the Book of Revelation (although I suspect that Zechariah’s description of them influenced John’s description of his four horsemen). These four horsemen appear later in this passage as the drivers of four chariots. It is interesting that of the four horsemen (and later of the four chariots) only three went out on patrol while the fourth waited their report. The message of both of these visions, four horsemen and four chariots, was that God was angry with the other nations of the earth because their actions against Israel exceeded the punishment which He intended. I struggle with reconciling this statement here with my belief that God controls how things turn out. I intended to write a bit about how I understand this, but realized that it is too complicated to explain in this daily post. The best I can do in this forum is to say that it has to do with the difference between how we treat groups and how we treat individuals. The passage also makes it clear that those who overstep God’s intended punishment of the Jewish people will suffer for their actions.

    Zechariah prophesied that the day would come when so many people wished to live in Jerusalem that they would not all fit within the walls. In that day many people would join themselves to the Lord and God would count them as His people, just as He does the descendants of Jacob. If you look at Jerusalem today you will see that it extends well beyond the area which was within the walls of Jerusalem when this was written, and there are not walls around the city. You could argue that the various barriers and checkpoints which the government of Israel have set up are the equivalent of a wall. God tells us that the situation which Zechariah is prophesying will not come about through force or strength. It will happen by the Spirit of God. This is something we need to remember in every endeavor we undertake. If what we are doing is according to God’s will we will not accomplish it by force or by strength, only by the Spirit of God.

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