Zechariah (Yahweh Has Remembered) was the 11th of the “minor” prophets, and the author of the book of Zechariah. He was a prophet to the returning exiles of Judah, and, like Ezekiel, was also a priest.
See Zechariah 1:1-6.
Zechariah’s prophetic career began in the 2nd year of Darius, King of Persia (520BC), about 16years after the return of the first group from their Babylonian exile. He was contemporary with Haggai (Ezra 5:1), but, while Haggai spoke through poetry, Zechariah spoke through visions.
– The Visions of Zechariah
* The Visions of the Horses & Riders (Zech. 1:7-17) Though God’s people were oppressed, God was still very concerned about His people and would restore them.
* The Vision of the 4 Horns & 4 Workmen (Zech. 1:18-21)
God would use the power of 4 Gentile nations (Assyria, Egypt, Babylonia, & Medo-Persia), but His promise of Gen. 12:3 would prevail.
* The Vision of the Surveyor (Zech. 2:1-4,5-13) God’s standard is the one true standard.
* The Vision of Joshua the High Priest (Zech. 3:1-10) God affirmed Jeshua the high priest as being God’s man doing God’s work.
* The Vision of the Golden Lampstand & the Olive Trees (Zech. 4:1-14)
* The Vision of the Flying Scroll (Zech. 5:1-4)
* The Vision of the Woman in a Basket (Zech. 5:5-11)
* The Vision of the 4 Chariots (Zech. 6:1-8)
* The Crowning of Jeshua (Zech. 6:9-15)
– Questions Concerning Fasts (Zech. 7:1–8:23)
– Restoration of the Temple Resumed
* The Prophets in Judah… Ezra 5:1,2
For more than 10years, Jerusalem’s most important construction site was vacant and quiet. The work on the 2nd temple had come to a halt. Zechariah was one of the prophets who stepped into that silence and called the people back to work.
* The Potentate in Persia
1) The Rebuke (Ezra 5:3-5)
2) The Report (Ezra 5:6-16)
3) The Reply (Ezra 6:1-12)
4) The Results (Ezra 6:13-22)
Zechariah served the dual role of priest and prophet. But, he had always been a priest without a temple.
Having been persuaded to return to work, the people of Jerusalem finished the work in just 4years! Zechariah – who, according to Ezra, was instrumental in motivating the people to carry on – was there to dedicate the new building to God who had brought them back from despair (Ezra 6:13-18).
What is the best way to judge preaching? By the eloquence of one’s words? By how pleasing those words sound? Or by whose words they are: the preachers words or God’s words?
Zechariah (along with Haggai) prophesied during a time when the Jews of Jerusalem were trying to rebuild their city and temple. Harassment from their neighbors had slowed progress… so Zechariah’s message was clear and forceful: “Keep building! It’s what God wants! You can do it!”
Zechariah was too determined to let a little opposition spoil the Jews’ resolve to finish what God had called them to do, so he encouraged and helped the people. And it made a big difference! The people listened to his words and were stirred to action.
– Common sense is important… as is experience-based wisdom. But neither can substitute for the Word of God.
– Sometimes we get discouraged. We hear bad news, or face a setback, or think all is lost, and we want to give up. We want to quit. But, we need to remember God is still alive! His ways WILL prevail! Nothing is impossible with God!
– You may need to be that friend who encourages and helps someone who is discouraged!
– The Visions concerning the Future (Zech. 9:1–14:21)
You can read Zechariah’s story and prophecy in the book of Zechariah & Ezra 5,6.