Summary: It is not easy to read God’s providence, but faith grasps that even behind what is indiscernible ‘in all things God works for the good of those who love Him’ (Rom 8:28). Though the rulers of the world were not watching out for God’s people, the Lord was.
ZECHARIAH 1: 12-17
[Revelation 1: 12-20]
We left off last time with the angels reporting that all the earth was peaceful and quiet (1:11). In the second year of Darius (489 BC) there prevailed an uncommonly peaceful time. The Medes and the Persians had conquered the Babylonian and the Chaldean empires 40 years earlier and established their unquestioned military supremacy over the world. And so the world was content for law and order were established. Yet, Judea, the home of the nation of God, was for the most part lying in waste, and Jerusalem was still without walls, and exposed in the most defenseless manner to all the insults of the opponents of the Jews.
It is not often easy to read God’s providence, but faith grasps that even behind what is indiscernible ‘in all things God works for the good of those who love Him’ (Rom. 8:28). Though the rulers of the world were not watching out for the people of God, the Angel of the Lord was. That is the truth the vision is designed to emphasize. Here we learn of the Mediator’s intercessory prayer and its answer.
Now, let us continue our message from last week.
[III. THE VISION AND ITS MESSAGE]
I. A MESSAGE OF COMPASSION, 12-13.
II. A MESSAGE OF EXPLANATION, 14-15.
III. A MESSAGE OF HOPE, 16-17.
The next two verses are the focus of the first vision and contain its central message. We pick up again in verse 12 with our great Intercessor’s calling out to the Father on behalf of His repentant people. Then the Angel of the LORD answered and said, "O, LORD of Hosts, how long wilt thou have no compassion for Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, with which You have been indignant these seventy years?"
The temple of Zion was in desolation and the cities of Judah were in pitiful condition as the Angel of YHWH moves to intercede for them with the Father on behalf of the repentant remnant. For the preincarnate Christ, the red horse rider, is identified with His people in their sufferings, degradation and misery (woe) which is shown by His standing amidst the myrtle trees. He desires the completion of a restoration process in both its physical and spiritual dimensions.
So the Angel of YHWH offers a supplication to the Father on behalf of Jerusalem and the cities of Judah (Heb. 7:25). What a message of comfort to oppressed and depressed Israel, to have their Advocate and Intercessor so revealed to them.
Notice what He intercedes for is mercy and what He complains of is lack of mercy (compassion) (Ps. 85:7; 89:2; Ezra 9:8). Lord, are not the 70 years of punishment over (Dan. 9:2) and yet they are still under the correcting anger of the 70 years of captivity first predicted by Jeremiah (25:11-12, 29:10) for their rebellion. But now because of their repentance the Intercessor can request God to send them a new day.
Today Jehovah-Christ, the great Mediator for His churches in the heavenly tabernacle, continues to intercede with God to show mercy to His people. And still today, two and a half millenniums later we the cry "how long, Lord till you come and stand with us?"