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A vision of compassion

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The setting in this text is about three months after the call to repentance. Scholars date it about February 15 519 B.C. It was about five months after the resuming of the temple being built.
Introduced to a few things....
a man… Who is this man? This man is identified as a angel of the Lord v11
red horse… and describes a red horse. These verses are associated with a sword, the instrument of war and death, which may also be the significance of the color. Historically speaking Persian art depicts horseman.
we also see in this text myrtle trees. Whats interesting about myrtle trees is at the foot of the Mount of Olives are myrtle groves which is in the lowest part of the Kidron Valley. The ravine may picture Judah condition at the time which is low. However, because I believe this vision is primary about compassion I believe this ray of hope for the future.
The angels reported what to the angel of the Lord? That all the earth was at rest. Now Darius had cut a mark and basrelief on a rock that was 328 feet that connected Ecbantana and Babylon.
The bas-relief portrays the surrender of those who had rebelled against the king, while the inscription tells in Persian, Elamite, and Babylonian the story of the political unrest in Persia during the first two years of Darius’s reign, praising his feats of valor. Darius boasted that in nineteen battles he had defeated nine rebel leaders and had subdued all his enemies. So the empire was again virtually quiet by 520 b.c.
v12 is amazing. Look what the angel of the Lord is saying here. Read text. He desired restoration for Judah. Which for them ment the rebuilding of the temple, for us it means something more, and we will talk about that later in the lesson.
So, In He predicted the seventy years of discipline. For the dating of these seventy years, Most scholars tend to have two different time periods.
This period may be calculated from 605 b.c. (the time of the first deportation from the land) to about 536 or 535 (the time when the first returnees were settled back in the land), or from 586 (when the temple was destroyed) to 516 (when the temple was rebuilt).
v13, These kind words are explained in verses 14-17.
v.14 Noticed what it says. He is jealous for Jerusalem. Now why was he jealous for them? Because he loved them. says, “but he chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion, Which he loves. This again shown in For the Lord has chosen Zion, he has desired it for his dwelling place, this is my resting place forever, here I will dwell, for I have desired it.
v15. Says he is exceedingly angry with the nations that are ease. These nations only had peace because of God. says, I was angry with my people: I profaned my heritage, I gave them into your hand, you showed them no mercy, on the aged you made your yoke exceedingly heavy. Just like verse 15 says they furthered the disaster.
The ESV reads I was angry but a little. When I began to dig deeper into this I found that a better translation of this may be I was angry only a little while. Going all the way back to verse 2 you see that he was very angry with the fathers. So in light of that saying I think it is very possible to have the reading I was angry only for a little while. which would mean that verse 15 is about the duration of this anger. This idea is also found in which says, “ For a brief moment I deserted you, but with great compassion I will gather you. In overflowing anger for a moment I hid by face from you, but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you, says the Lord your Redeemer.
Finally in verse 15 there is a reminder and warning all the back from which says, “I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families shall be blessed.
Verse 16-17 It starts with one of our favorite words Therefore. Because God had a jealous love for Israel and a jealous anger against her enemies, the following promises would be fulfilled.
Because God had a jealous love for Israel and a jealous anger against her enemies, the following promises would be fulfilled.
V16. Verse 16 tells us of the returning to Jerusalem with mercy. The fact that his temple would be rebuilt would be a great hope to those who would hear of this vision. Now the temple being rebuilt is only the initial fulfillment.
V17. God will again comfort the people of God, and his cities shall overflow with prosperity.
The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Volume 7: Daniel and the Minor Prophets A. The First Vision: The Horseman Among the Myrtle Trees (1:7–17)

Feinberg (p. 38) has an excellent summary of the teaching and application of the first vision:

The distinctive features of comfort for Israel in this first vision are: (1) the presence of the Angel of Jehovah in the midst of degraded and depressed Israel; (2) His loving and yearning intercession for them; (3) the promises of future blessings. We may say, then, that the import of the vision is this: although Israel is not yet in her promised position, God is mindful of her, providing the means of His judgment on the persecuting nations, and reserving glory and prosperity for Israel in the benevolent and beneficent reign of the Messiah.

The series of visions carry us through God’s dealings with Israel from the time of their chastisement by God under the Gentile powers until they are restored to their land with their rebuilt city and temple under their Messiah King. The first vision gives the general theme of the whole series; the others add the details … When the world was busy with its own affairs, God’s eyes and the heart of the Messiah were upon the lowly estate of Israel and upon the temple in Jerusalem.

While this text was written over 2600 years ago, it does have alot of contemporary significance.
It teaches us about God’s sovereign rule.
teaches us that God is sovereign. For the people of Isreal this was an important truth, that they had to hold on to. In spite of all there troubles, God was still sovereignly holding everything together. However, it is in our darkest times where God’s sovereignty is questioned. Although in those times we should grab hold of him even more. A great example of this is found in .
As you turn to this Psalm the Asaphite who wrote this Psalm struggled with God’s sovereignty, because of what was going on in the world. We wont read it all just for the sake of time, but I do want us to see a few important details that it gives us.
He shared what saved him from abandoning his faith in verse 17: “I entered the sanctuary of God, then I understood their final destiny.” In God’s sanctuary he discovered God’s presence (“I am always with you, you hold me by my right hand,” 73:23) and God’s sovereignty (“You guide me with your counsel,” 73:24), and he was able to declare: “But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge” (73:28). God is in control even when we do not sense it.
This quote struck me this week as I studied for this lesson. “Faith in God’s sovereignty is essential to the walk of faithfulness as we await the return of Christ.”
This has universal implications for our everyday life. Knowing who God is, and what he is going to do, allows us to be faithful whether or not we are in captivity or in prosperity.
Do you trust in God’s sovereignty today?
The second thing we can relate to today is God’s zealous passion for his people.
God cared for Isreal like his own Child. 1:14-15
When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. This is also a prophecy fulfilled in the New Testament 2 The more they were called, the more they went away; they kept sacrificing to the Baals and burning offerings to idols.
3 Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk; I took them up by their arms, but they did not know that I healed them. 4 I led them with cords of kindness,[a] with the bands of love, and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws, and I bent down to them and fed them.
5 They shall not return to the land of Egypt, but Assyria shall be their king, because they have refused to return to me.

God passionately pursues us in Christ with his love, mercy, and kindness. On another level, as we await the death of sin at Christ’s second coming, God continues to bring discipline into our lives. It is not easy when God brings such difficulties into our lives, whether acts of discipline or not, to sustain confidence in his mercy. But such discipline is truly an expression of his love and mercy in our lives (Heb. 12:1–11), even if we cannot identify the reason for such experiences. Zechariah 1:7–17 reminds us of the ultimate goal of all discipline—deepened and purified relationship with our covenant Lord.

The third and final thing God does that applies to us today is he comforts us with his presence. Verses 16 and 17 tell us a very important truth. I have returned to Jerusalem. The presence of God that temporary left them would again return to them.
Today we have that truth as well. I am with you always. For I am with you, and noone will harm you.
In our mens study we are going through the book of John and over the past several weeks we have been looking at . In those chapters we see this same truth.
There he reveals that he has communicated the presence of the Father to them (14:8–14). But he also speaks of “another Counselor,” who will continue the presence of Christ among them (14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7). When Jesus tells them in 14:17, “you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you,” he is referring to the Holy Spirit’s role in their lives.
If you are a believer in Christ today. God dwells in you. God dwelling in you brings you comfort. Last week i mentioned . This week I will mention Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. 2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare[a] is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the Lord's hand double for all her sins.
My friends there is comfort from knowing the Lord, and knowing he is with us. For Isreal it was a promise that God would ultimately dwell in there presence again, and for us it a reality that God dwells in believers , because of the work of Jesus Christ.
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