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Of course thatís not a new cry. We of the 20th century havenít invented it. In fact one of the recurring themes of the Bible is the incompleteness of Godís plan. All through the Bible you find that Godís plan for the world is awaiting a conclusion. Well, that was certainly true for the people of Israel waiting in exile in Babylon at the time that Zechariah writes. They must have been thinking "Why doesnít God do something about our situation? Doesnít he care that weíre stuck here in exile among these idol worshippers. Heís said that heíll rescue us, so whenís he going to do it?"
The people in Jerusalem may have been thinking similar things as they looked around at how few they were; as they saw the way nothing had really changed, how there was just as much laziness and corruption as there was before the exile. "Whatís God going to do about it?" they were no doubt asking. Whatís happened to us being a holy nation set apart for God? Why havenít Godís purposes been accomplished after all these years? So God sends Zechariah another message, to show what heís going to do to bring about the restoration of Israel, and to establish his dwelling place on earth. The message comes in a series of visions or images: of a scroll, a basket, chariots, and a crown.
The first vision is of a giant scroll. "Again I looked up and saw a flying scroll. 2And he said to me, íWhat do you see?í I answered, íI see a flying scroll; its length is twenty cubits, and its width ten cubits.í" This is like one of those banners you see flying above the cricket or the football, with a message like, "Marry me, Stella!" Or "I love you Darren!" Itís big enough to be read clearly from a distance, and there are a couple of other interesting features to it. Its dimensions are interesting, to start with. It isnít just big. Its the same size as the Holy Place in the Tabernacle (Ex 26:15-28). That may or may not be significant. If it is then it may be intended to remind us of the covenant requirements of holiness and obedience. The second feature is similar: it has writing on both sides, the same as the tablets of the law. So this scroll represents the law of God, going throughout the land, clearly visible for everyone to see, telling them of the curse on those who disobey. And what is the curse? "Everyone who steals shall be cut off, and everyone who swears falsely shall be cut off."
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