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Zechariah 1:18-21

Holy Revenge

18 Then lifted I up mine eyes, and saw, and behold four horns. 19 And I said unto the angel that talked with me, What be these? And he answered me, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem. 20 And the LORD shewed me four carpenters.21 Then said I, What come these to do? And he spake, saying, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, so that no man did lift up his head: but these are come to fray them, to cast out the horns of the Gentiles, which lifted up their horn over the land of Judah to scatter it.

Many years ago, when I was struggling to survive financially, someone whom I thought was a good friend betrayed my friendship and cost me a whole lot of money that I did not have. As he went on to be moderately successful and I continued to struggle, I couldn't help feeling a compelling desire to get revenge every time I thought of him. Perhaps you have experienced the same feeling toward someone.

Only after becoming a Christian was I able to rid myself of those feelings and to understand the meaning of, "Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord." (Romans 12:19) That is the lesson taught in Zechariah's second vision.

When he looked up, he saw four horns. The horn was a symbol of great power and dignity. It usually represented a powerful nation or kingdom, so the prophet asked, "What are these?"

The angel answered, "These are the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem." The horns represented the nations that were Judah's enemies, nations that had caused her people to be scattered. The ten tribes of the northern kingdom, Israel, were lost even to this day, and the southern kingdom had been attacked from all sides before finally being taken into captivity. Even as Zechariah saw this vision, Sanballat, a Moabite, was leading the opposition to the rebuilding of the temple.

The four horns, then, probably represent the nations that came from the four ends of the map. From the North, the Assyrians and Babylonians, from the East, the Moabites and Ammonites; from the South, the Egyptians; and from the West, the Philistines. These nations had scattered God's people and had stolen their dignity so that no man could lift his head.

It is difficult for us to understand how the people of Judah must have felt about these nations. The desire for revenge leaves an empty and nasty feeling in a person's gut, especially when he is helpless to do anything about it. God, however, relieves us of these miseries, because He has always promised to avenge the wrongs that are done to His people and He always keeps His promise.

Zechariah's vision is one of those promises. God showed him "four carpenters." The Hebrew word charash is used to indicate any kind of fabricator... a carpenter, engraver, mason, or smith, so let's call them "craftsman," people skilled at what they do. These represent nations who will cause Judah's enemies to shudder with fear. Perhaps they are the same nations who will now turn on each other and cast each other out of the land where they can no longer pose a threat.

Revenge? God's people need not concern themselves with such things. It will be taken care of with greater zeal and efficiency than any of us could do. Our God is a consuming fire and no man or nation should dare to anger Him.

God told Abraham, "And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee." (Genesis 12:3)

Then, Paul said, "And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." (Galatians 3:29) We do not need revenge, because we have a God who protects us with zealous love.

Before the Throne:

Ask the Lord to examine your heart to see whether or not you are harboring any feelings of resentment toward another person. Ask Him to remove it and replace it with His wonderful peace. Pray for Him to increase your faith, that you might be content to trust in Him and to leave your enemies in His hands. Thank Him for loving you and for His wonderful promises.

For Further Study:

** lifted. Zech 2:1; 5:1, 5, 9; Josh 5:13; Dan 8:3; ** four. 2Kgs 15:29; 17:1-6; 18:9-12; 24:1-25; Dan 2:37-43; 7:3-8; 8:3-14; 11:28-35;

(v.19) ** What. Zech 2:2; 4:11-14; Rev 7:13, 14; ** scattered. Zech 8:14; Ezra 4:1, 4, 7; 5:3; Jer 50:17, 18; Dan 12:7; Hab 3:14 ;

(v.20) ** four. Zech 9:12-16; 10:3-5; 12:2-6; Deut 33:25; Judg 11:16, 18; 1Sam 12:11; Neh 9:27; Isa 54:15-17; Obad 1:21; Mic 5:5, 6, 8, 9;

(v.21) ** lifted. Zech 2:1; 5:1, 5, 9; Josh 5:13; Dan 8:3; ** four. 2Kgs 15:29; 17:1-6; 18:9-12; 24:1-25; Dan 2:37-43; 7:3-8; 8:3-14; 11:28-35;


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