No Blaming Your Parents
There’s a trend in human nature to blame those who went before us. And sometimes our predecessors can make it harder on us, for sure. But at the end of the day, God’s grace is there to help us rise above our past and release its residue of pain. There is no blaming your parents when the example they set – good or bad – is something we can learn from. And more than that—when the Holy Spirit can transform and enable us to rise above any past.
Bible Reading of the Day: Zechariah 1-5
We are reading the book of Zechariah today so we always provide a little background information. This is from my study Bible:
“Zechariah is the eleventh of the Minor Prophets. Like Jeremiah and Ezekiel, Zechariah was a priest as well as a prophet. The book of Zechariah largely concerns the temple and priesthood and the purification of the people. Zechariah’s grandfather Iddo was a priest who returned from exile with Zerubbabel (Neh. 12:4), making it likely that Zechariah was Haggai’s younger colleague. Whereas Haggai’s focus was on the rebuilding of the temple and the reinstitution of the sacrificial system, Zechariah’s focus was on the people’s spiritual transformation” (Colson, Chuck, Norm Geisler, Hank Hanegraaff, Josh McDowell, Albert Mohler, Ravi Zacharias, J. P. Moreland, and Phil Johnson. The Apologetics Study Bible. B&H Publishing Group, 2007).
Zechariah stressed the presence of the LORD with His people (1:16, 9:9-10; 14:4,9) and also the necessity to obey the LORD, especially in matters of justice, mercy, compassion, and truthfulness.
No Blaming Your Parents—Return to the LORD of Armies
“Zechariah begins his book with a strong call for Israel to repent (1:1-6). This theme of repentance is developed more fully through the subsequent eight visions. In general, these visions speak of God’s plans for Israel and especially for Jerusalem and the temple. Another major theme is the coming of the future Messiah. The prophet also had a mission of encouraging the post-exilic Jews to continue their work to rebuild the temple.” (Gotquestions.org)
“In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Zechariah son of Berechiah, son of Iddo: 2 “The LORD was extremely angry with your ancestors. 3 So tell the people, ‘This is what the LORD of Armies says: Return to me—this is the declaration of the LORD of Armies—and I will return to you, says the LORD of Armies.
No Blaming Your Parents—Their Pattern Does Not Have to Be Ours
4 Do not be like your ancestors; the earlier prophets proclaimed to them: This is what the LORD of Armies says: Turn from your evil ways and your evil deeds. But they did not listen or pay attention to me—this is the LORD’s declaration. 5 Where are your ancestors now? And do the prophets live forever? 6 But didn’t my words and my statutes that I commanded my servants the prophets overtake your ancestors?’” So the people repented and said, “As the LORD of Armies decided to deal with us for our ways and our deeds, so he has dealt with us.”
Notice the name of God that is repeated five times in these opening verses – the LORD of Armies. LORD – He is in relationship with His people, and He is LORD over all the Heavenly host and all creation.
We have to return in order for the LORD to return to us. Repenting is not just being sorry it is turning from our ways. Even ingrained ways that might have been sins passed down as part of the family tradition.
The Hope of Restoration Via Visions
In Zechariah 1:7–6:8, the prophet Zechariah receives eight visions in one busy night:
- The horseman among the myrtle trees (1:7-17)
- The four horns and four craftsmen (1:18-21)
- The surveyor (2:1-13)
- The vision of Joshua the high priest (3:1-10)
- The golden lampstand and two olive trees (4:1-14)
- The flying scroll (5:1-4)
- The woman in the basket (5:5-11)
- The four chariots (6:1-8)
Visions of Restoration
- The horseman among the myrtle trees (1:7-17): Zechariah sees a man and horses among the trees. The man explains that they had gone throughout the whole earth and found peace. An angel then tells the prophet that God still loved Israel and would restore Jerusalem. Verse 17 summarizes: “This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘My towns will again overflow with prosperity, and the LORD will again comfort Zion and choose Jerusalem.’”
2. The four horns and four craftsmen (1:18-21): Zechariah is shown four horns and four craftsmen. The angel tells him that the horns are four kingdoms that opposed Israel (Assyria, Egypt, Babylon, and Medo-Persia) and the craftsmen are coming to “throw down these horns”; i.e., God would defeat Israel’s enemies.
3. The surveyor (2:1-13): Zechariah sees a man holding a measuring line. When the prophet asks the man where he is going, the man says he is going to measure the city of Jerusalem. This vision represents God’s promise that Jerusalem will be expanded and its people will one day live in safety as the Lord judges Israel’s enemies.
Visions of Blessing
4. The vision of Joshua the high priest (3:1-10): Zechariah sees Joshua the high priest standing in filthy clothes; he is before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan stands to the side. Satan is rebuked, and Joshua is given rich, clean clothes. God Himself explains the vision: Joshua will be blessed in his service to the Lord. The vision is also symbolic of Israel’s restoration as God’s “priestly” nation (cf. Exodus 19:6). This vision of Joshua ends with a prediction of the ultimate high priest—the coming Messiah, symbolized by a Branch and an all-seeing Stone.
5. The golden lampstand and two olive trees (4:1-14): An angel shows Zechariah a golden lampstand being fed oil from two olive trees. The two olive trees are symbolic of Zerubbabel the governor of Judah and Joshua the high priest. The golden lampstand represents the temple and temple-worshiping community. God was making the point that He would once again work through His people to lay the foundation of the temple and finish the work.
Visions of Obedience
6. The flying scroll (5:1-4): Zechariah sees a large scroll, written on both sides, flying over the whole land. This vision speaks of God’s judgment upon those who disobeyed His law.
7. The woman in the basket (5:5-11): The angel shows the prophet a basket that could hold an ephah (three-fifths of a bushel). On the basket is a lead cover. The angel opens the basket to reveal a woman sitting inside. The angel says, “This is the iniquity of the people throughout the land,” and seals the basket again with the heavy lid. Two other women appear with stork-like wings; they pick up the basket and carry it to Babylon. This strange vision pictures suppressed wickedness to be banished to Babylon where it would eventually be freed (cf. Revelation 17).
Visions of Judgement
8. The four chariots (6:1-8): Zechariah sees four horses of different colors pulling four chariots. They quickly run through the entire earth, with the result that God’s Spirit has “rest.” This vision represents a judgment upon the enemies of Israel. After the judgment, God’s wrath will be appeased, and “rest” ensues. This final vision brings the series of visions full circle: the first vision had pictured these horses at the end of their mission. A similar vision of judgment, also using the imagery of horses, is found in Revelation 6:1-8.
The two middle visions, numbers 4 and 5, emphasize God’s blessing. As Israel returns to Jerusalem and rebuilds the temple, they will find God’s favor. The work will be accomplished, “‘not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty” (4:6).
No Blaming Your Parents—Restoration is Possible!
The Book of Zechariah teaches that salvation may be obtained by all. The last chapter depicts peoples from all over the world coming to worship God, who desires that all people follow Him. This is not the doctrine of universalism, i.e., that all people would be saved because it is God’s nature to save. Rather, the book teaches that God desires that all people worship Him and accepts those who do, regardless of their national or political expressions.
Finally, Zechariah preached that God is sovereign over this world, any appearance to the contrary notwithstanding. His visions of the future indicate that God sees all that will happen. The depictions of God’s intervention in the world teach that ultimately He will bring human events to the end He chooses. He does not eliminate the individual’s freedom to follow God or rebel, but holds people responsible for the choices they make. In the last chapter, even the forces of nature respond to God’s control.
Scripture of the Day: Zechariah 4:6
“So he answered me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by strength or by might, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord of Armies.”
God was not telling Zechariah the work he had to do and then expecting Zechariah to get ‘er done on his own. The Spirit is how we do life now. We cannot do things in our own strength—we fail if we do.
- No matter what our past, God holds our future.
- No matter what our story is, it’s not over yet and God knows the end.
- God will complete the work by His Spirit.
- Don’t blame your parents or circumstances. Life is hard, but by His Spirit and the blood of Christ, we are overcomers.
𝗝𝗼𝗶𝗻 𝗺𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗕𝗶𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗥𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗣𝗹𝗮𝗻 𝗮𝘁 12 𝗽𝗺 𝗘𝗧.
Day #304: Zechariah 1:5—No Blaming Your Parents
𝒱𝑒𝓇𝓈𝑒 𝑜𝒻 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝒟𝒶𝓎: Zechariah 4:6
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