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Read Introduction to Zechariah

 

1 Then I turned and raised my eyes, and saw there a flying scroll. 2 And he said to me, “What do you see?” So I answered, “I see a flying scroll. Its length is twenty cubits and its width ten cubits.” 3 Then he said to me, “This is the curse that goes out over the face of the whole earth: ‘Every thief shall be expelled,’ according to this side of the scroll; and, ‘Every perjurer shall be expelled,’ according to that side of it.” 4 “I will send out the curse,” says the Lord of hosts; “It shall enter the house of the thief And the house of the one who swears falsely by My name. It shall remain in the midst of his house And consume it, with its timber and stones.”

 

Beginning with this vision, the context of the revelations takes a sharp turn to God’s verdicts on Israel. The last three visions deal with God’s administration of justice. The sixth vision warns against violating God’s judgments. If God blesses Israel, it will be because the nation would have returned to their LORD.

5:1

Then I turned and raised my eyes, and saw there a flying scroll.

The “flying scroll” descends from heaven, representing the written Word of God. A scroll is a document rolled.

5:2

And he [interpreting angel] said to me, “What do you see?” So I [Zechariah] answered, “I see a flying scroll. Its length is twenty cubits and its width ten cubits.”

A cubit is 18 inches. Twenty cubits would be about 30-34 feet. Ten cubits wide would be between 15 and 17 feet. This was no ordinary scroll; it was a scroll of gigantic proportions.

5:3

Then he said to me, “This is the curse that goes out over the face of the whole earth: ‘Every thief shall be expelled,’ according to this side of the scroll;

The scroll represented a curse from God. The scroll was unrolled; people could read the writing on both sides.

and, ‘Every perjurer [thief] shall be expelled,’ according to that side of it.”

The other side of the scroll had a message to the perjurer.

5:4

“I will send out the curse,” says the Lord of hosts;

The purpose of the scroll is to announce a curse on Judah for breaking covenant with the LORD of hosts.

“It shall enter the house of the thief

This verse announces a curse for two sins, beginning with thievery. This sin represents wrong to neighbors.

And the house of the one who swears falsely by My name.

The second sin is swearing falsely by God’s name. This sin represents wrong against God.

These two sins probably represent the entire Ten Commandments.

It shall remain in the midst of his house And consume it, with its timber and stones.”

The house of the guilty will be torn down (Ezra 6:11). The “house functions as a metonymy for those who dwell in them. Those who spurn God will experience complete and consuming judgment.

PRINCIPLE:

We are to elevate the importance of God’s Word in our lives.

APPLICATION:

God’s Word is open for all to see. His Word lays open as an unrolled scroll. It is there for anyone who is receptive to it. Sometimes it is not an easy read because it exposes us for what we are. However, it also gives hope that God will accept us on His terms. God’s Word penetrates what is wrong with the church (Ps 147:15; Isa 55:11). God cleanses His people by His Word.

There is no escape from God’s judgments. He always brings the recalcitrant and unrepentant to judgment. He will intervene towards those with unbroken sin. He is a God of grace, but that grace must be embraced. The blessing of the New Testament believer is that Jesus took our curse for us (2 Co 5:21). The Father placed all our judgment on Christ.

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