2,18 Why Do You Stand Gazing, Zech 1,18-21
Why Do You Stand Gazing?
Horns== symbol of royal dignity and power.
Vision 2 deals with God’s judgment. In this vision, we see God securing the land against foreign oppressors and establishing prosperity.
I. Vision of the Horns—
a)Imagine seeing four horns! Once again we see that he asks “what are these?” They were horns of power, pride and noted as the “ruling powers of the world”. These four powers were most likely Babylon, Medo_Persian empire, Greece and Rome. The Jews were harassed on every side. They would affect the course of history for God’s people, nation and the city of Jerusalem.
II. Vision of the Carpenters-
Carpenters—or better “artificers”—they were artisans, smiths. They were craftsmen who were trained and skilled at working with their hands.
They were used to crush the four Gentile powers, or the four horns. For every enemy of God’s people, God has provided a counteracting power adequate to destroy it.
Application--On several occasions in Scripture, the Lord allowed a person or a nation to punish either a portion or all of the Jewish nation for their sin and idolatry. They were God’s chosen people, to be sure, but when they turned away from Him, they were chastised for their disobedience. Sadly, when the Lord allowed a nation or an individual leader to punish His people, that punishment was often inflicted with vengeance exceeding what was necessary to accomplish the divine purpose. In response to such Gentile excesses, God intervened and punished those He had used to correct His wayward people.
This truth explains the relationship between the horns and the artisans. God would raise up a horn, or power, to punish rebellious Israel. When that power overstepped its bounds, punishing God’s people beyond His intention, the Lord would intervene by raising up another nation and leader (artisan) to subdue the failed power. The new artisan, in turn, would rise to empire status and, in the process, gain power, prestige, and wealth. The new empire usually lasted for several hundred years before being replaced by a new horn. Each new horn was used to carry out a phase of disciplining Israel when the nation began to slip into apostasy. In due time, each new horn, in its turn, overstepped God’s limitations, and, in response, the Lord raised up another artisan nation. The cycle was reenacted throughout the history of the four major empires named in the Scriptures (Babylonian Empire, 586 to 450 b.c.; Medo-Persian Empire, 450 to 330 b.c.; Greek Empire, 330 to 166 b.c.; and Roman Empire, 63 b.c. to 330 a.d.).
The Babylonian Empire, identified as the first horn, was the first Gentile world power unveiled in the dream of Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 2) and the subsequent dream and vision of Daniel (Dan. 7). The first artisan was the Medo-Persian Empire. The Medes and Persians succeeded Babylon to become the next horn. Eventually they too became oppressors of God’s people and fell victim to the next artisan, the Grecian Empire. Finally, Rome, the last great empire, came on the scene as the artisan that destroyed the Grecian Empire.
It is noteworthy that the fourth artisan is missing. No nation has come upon the world scene to decisively depose Rome. And we would do well to remember that the Roman Empire so crushed the Jewish people that they were sent into dispersion for nearly two thousand years.
III. Jesus The Final Carpenter- “Is not this the Carpenter, the Son of Mary?(Mk 6:3).
Who is the fourth and final artisan? Daniel refers to Him as a “stone … cut out … without hands” (Dan. 2:45) that will fall on all the Gentile nations, destroy them, and become the ruler of a kingdom that “the God of heaven set up … which shall never be destroyed” (Dan. 2:44). These words make it exceedingly clear that the stone is Jesus Christ, and the kingdom identified will be established and ruled over by the triumphant Messiah. This historical certainty causes every humanly crafted empire to pale into insignificance. As a matter of fact, all such earthly authorities will be subdued as the King takes His throne.
a) We are not to Wander -vs6 – The Jews were always conscious of being God’s chosen people. They took that to mean that they were destined for special privilege and world wide dominion. Palestine was a little country, 120 miles by 40 miles. It had been subject in turn to the Babylonians, Persians, Greeks and Romans, as we Zechariah was shown.
Vs6—they were looking forward to the day when God would break directly into human history and establish the world sovereignty they dreamed of. They thought of the kingdom in political terms.
b) We are to be Witnesses-8-11- we know something is true and we are loyal , no matter the fact. Until Jesus comes back, we must be about His work.
--Have hope—don’t just stand and gaze. Jesus, whom you have just seen taken into heaven, in like manner will also come back.
And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. (Daniel 7:14);
And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. 16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, 17 Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. (Rev 11:15-17)
Scriptures have forewarned that such activities will only worsen as the world moves deeper into the end times and will expand explosively as the Antichrist vents Satan’s wrath on the Jewish people during the Tribulation period.
This assurance can cause believers of every century to take heart, for no matter how terrible the world situation becomes, we live in the confidence that God is still on the throne. He will prevail. Christ will win the battle, and we who are in Christ are on the victory side.
TODAY—Are you a Gazer or Witness; are you Wandering or Witnessing? Let’s get to Work!!