Today we read the eighth vision that Zechariah received in one night. Zechariah sees four chariots roaming the earth, similar to what he saw in the first vision, bringing the series of visions together. The vision illustrates the judgment upon the enemies of God so His people will have rest.
Then the Lord tells Zechariah to make an elaborate crown and place it on the head of Joshua, the high priest, and say, “Behold, the Man whose name is the BRANCH! From His place He shall branch out, and He shall build the temple of the Lord; Yes, He shall build the temple of the Lord. He shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule on His throne; so He shall be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.”
It is unusual to crown a priest because priests are not kings and kings are not priests. However, the crowning of Joshua is a foreshadowing of the coming High Priest and King of all kings, Jesus Christ, whom the Lord is sending to redeem His people.
Nothing will stop the Lord’s plans, although many try, as we read about another attempt made to stop the rebuilding of the temple. Tattenai, “the governor of the region beyond the River,” and others ask the Jews, “‘Who has commanded you to build this temple and finish this wall?’ Then, accordingly, we told them the names of the men who were constructing this building.” So Tattenai writes a letter to King Darius to verify their response.
When King Darius receives the letter, he retrieves the decree issued by King Cyrus allowing the Jews to return to rebuild Jerusalem. Therefore, he responds to Tattenai by saying, “Keep yourselves far from there. Let the work of this house of God alone; let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews build this house of God on its site.” King Darius also tells Tattenai to pay the cost of rebuilding the temple from taxes on the region beyond the River and to give the Jews anything else that they need day by day without fail. “Then Tattenai, governor of the region beyond the River, Shethar-Boznai, and their companions diligently did according to what King Darius had sent.”
We end the reading with the people asking if they should still fast now that the exile is over and the temple is almost complete. The Lord tells the people that fasting for show or self-pity accomplishes nothing. The purpose of fasting is to bring humility and repentance which leads to righteousness. God promises to restore His people and to turn their fast into “joy and gladness and cheerful feasts” which will result in the multiplication of His people – “In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.’”
The Lord is restoring His people through His plan of sending the Branch, Jesus Christ, to save us from our sins and give us new life. The Lord desires for us to walk in the newness of life so that our lives will draw others into the fellowship of Christ. How wonderful for someone to look at your life and say, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”
Zechariah speaks more about the coming Savior tomorrow, so keep reading! (Zechariah 6:1-15, Ezra 5:3-6:13, Zechariah 7:1-8:23)