Zechariah 1 Outline
– Zechariah Asks Israel to Turn to the Lord (Zechariah 1:1-6)
– Vision of horses and riders (Zechariah 1:7-17)
– Vision of animal horns (Zechariah 1: 18-21)
Zechariah 1 Summary
In Zechariah 1:1, Zechariah introduced himself as the son of Berechiah, son of Iddo. Iddo was responsible for leading the priestly families to return from the exile. Therefore, Zechariah came from a priestly family lineage. Zechariah was both a prophet and priest.
In Zechariah 1:2-5, God expressed his anger towards their ancestors because they were stubborn and did not obey him. Earlier, their ancestors were counseled by God’s prophets to turn back from their evil ways but they ignored the message. Their ancestors did not die in the homeland. Instead, they die in exile at a foreign land. In those days, the prophet Jeremiah advised the people remain in the city to not flee and seek refuge at Egypt. The people did not listen so God punished them. (Jeremiah 42:10-19)
God’s discipline is always good. The purpose of God’s discipline is to help us recognize and learn from our mistakes. We should not run away from God’s punishment. We should face it and thank God for it. In this way, we will be able to learn from our mistake and experience God’s blessing. Many people tried to run away from their problems through short cut ways such as divorce, giving up, ending their own lives and etc. We should not think that we can use these ways to handle the problems. No matter what problems you face, you should trust God to help you make it through.
God gave 8 visions to the prophet Zechariah. Zechariah 1: 8-17 is the first vision that Zechariah saw on the 24th of Sebat (the eleventh month). In the first vision, Zechariah saw a man on a red horse among the myrtle trees. There were other riders on red, brown and white horses behind the man. The riders reported to the angel that there is peace in the whole earth. God was very angry because the Babylonians went too far in punishing the Israelites. As a result, God sent the Persian armies to attack and conquer Babylon. God promised that the city of Zion (Jerusalem) will prosper. Initially, God chose the Israelites to be his people. Ultimately, we were chosen to be his people through the Jewish Messiah. We were chosen to be his people not because it is what we deserve but merely it is God’s grace.
Zechariah 1:18-21 is the second vision about the four horns and craftsmen. In the second vision, Zechariah saw four horns which were scattered in Judah, Israel and Jerusalem. The four craftsmen are responsible for crushing down the four horns. The four horns represent the four Gentile nations that God used to oppress and punish the people of Israel. Horn is often used as a term to describe military power. God purposely send the powerful nation to oppress the Israelites so that they can remove the pride in their hearts and become humble.
The craftsmen represent the armies that crushed down the four horns who became arrogant in the process. When a horn subdues the Israelites and punish them too hard, God sends a craftsman to crush it a little. When the craftsman becomes too hard on the Israelites, the second craftsman will come to attack it and so on. It is the same vision as the vision Daniel had. The four horns are Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome. The four craftsmen are Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. God was in control of the whole process all the time.
Zechariah 1 Bible Study
1. God’s pity towards the Israelites
God did not forget the covenant he set up with the Israelites. The name Zechariah means God remembers. God promised that he will deliver Israel and bring them back from exile after 70 years. After 70 years of staying in the exile, the Israelites seemed to be hopeless about returning back to their home lands. To encourage the Israelites, God had sent prophets such as Daniel and Zechariah. God finally had pity on the Israelites. He kept his promise and brought back the Israelites from the lands of the enemies after 70 years. Just like how God had pity on the Israelites, God will also do the same for us.
2. God will show mercy to those who repent
Mercy means showing compassion towards a person. God will always have mercy and rescue us from our problems no matter what evil things we do. In the Bible, we read about how the Israelites sinned against God and God punished them by sending enemies to attack them. Then, they would realize their wrong so that God have mercy on them. God will pity us and show us mercy when we repent from our sins. God will never have mercy on people that are disobedient towards him. Therefore, if you want God to show mercy, you must make up your mind to change yourself and avoid committing that sin again.