Our pastor preached a prophecy sermon last week and I was thrilled with reading the many Day of the Lord references in the minor prophets of the Old Testament. I know that Isaiah preaches the Millennium Kingdom in Isaiah 11 and Isaiah 65. Ezekiel 38-39 shows us the Gog-Magog war to happen at the opening of the Day of the Lord and then chapters 40 & 41 the Kingdom. The Joel 3:2 command is well-known to prophecy students as the one where the Lord is angered because they have divided Israel, and as a result He will gather them all on the last day for judgment. Zechariah 12 promises all of Israel’s enemies to be destroyed at the end of time, when Israel stands alone. Psalm 83 is a prophetic prayer and appeal for the smiting of Israel’s enemies in a war yet to come.
But our pastor had preached on Obadiah 1 and the borders of the Land to be Israel’s in the future. And Hosea 2 where the Israelites regain the “My People” status. And in reading Zechariah again, I noticed this:
Take a look at Zechariah 6:1-7
Four Chariots – “I looked up again—and there before me were four chariots coming out from between two mountains—mountains of bronze! The first chariot had red horses, the second black, the third white, and the fourth dappled—all of them powerful. I asked the angel who was speaking to me, “What are these, my lord?” The angel answered me, “These are the four spirits of heaven, going out from standing in the presence of the Lord of the whole world. 6The one with the black horses is going toward the north country, the one with the white horses toward the west, and the one with the dappled horses toward the south.” When the powerful horses went out, they were straining to go throughout the earth. And he said, “Go throughout the earth!” So they went throughout the earth.”
Does that passage remind you of anything? It should.
First Seal: The Conqueror
1 Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, “Come and see.” And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.
Second Seal: Conflict on Earth
When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword.
Third Seal: Scarcity on Earth
When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.”
Fourth Seal: Widespread Death on Earth
When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.”
Are the 4 chariots of Zechariah the same as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse? I don’t know. I just started reading. But isn’t the bible a wonderful and infinite trove of new wisdom from God for us to learn? In His kindness, He testifies to Himself and in unfolding fashion, every time we open the Word we have an opportunity to learn something new. Compare these verses:
Revelation 1:5-8 –
“To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Zechariah 12:10-11 –
“And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo.”
In a Sunday School class I used to attend a while ago at a former church, a lady used to come with her New Testament-only bible. It irked me to no end. And she was a pastor’s wife! What message does it send to leave half the Word at home? Has not God told us of Himself in the entire book? Isn’t all scripture profitable for teaching?
The entire bible is a jewel unparalleled. Jesus identified Himself as Truth (John 14:6). It is said in John 17:17: “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” Therefore His word is truth and entirely wonderful from Genesis to Revelation, the first and the last. Don’t be afraid to delve into the beauty and wonder of the Old Testament books, especially the prophets. They are speaking to us now, this generation! They have words for us to hear truths for us to uncover. Though Obadiah, Hosea, Micah, Joel, Amos and the rest have entered into their eternal rest, their work in being the human instrument speaking His truth lives on.
Try this: get your bible. Pray. Be quiet and still. Concentrate, preparing your heart to have truth, wonder, and beauty revealed. Ask the Spirit to give you wisdom and it shall be given, without reproach! (James 1:5). The Lord blesses a seeking heart, opens the ears and widens the eyes. He didn’t make His word unclear, but we are sinners who see through a glass darkly. But remember, “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.” (1 John 2:27). The same Spirit that breathed out the Word lives in YOU, and will help you understand.
After you pray, and be still, see where the Spirit leads you in the bible, and read. Don’t worry if you do not understand it on first pass. Read slowly and meditatingly, savoring each word. Ask yourself questions. ‘What does that mean?’ ‘Why was that word used there?’
And repeat, each day. Like stitching together a quilt, it gradually takes shape, with patience, attention, and diligence. And let the wonders unfold!
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