This is not an easy chapter to understand at a glance. The point is that God will defend His people. Jesus would be pierced on the cross for our sins. The people mourned when that happened. God will give His Spirit to His people. Despite outward appearances, God is in control.
Shepherds are supposed to take care of the sheep. But bad shepherds don’t care about their sheep. God was getting ready to judge the rebellious sheep by giving them bad shepherds. The covenant was about to be broken.
But a new covenant was coming. Jesus was betrayed for the price of a slave. That money was used to buy a potters field. Zechariah foreshadowed that with the words recorded here. Jesus would be the good shepherd to give up His life for His sheep and usher in the New Covenant of forgiveness and faith.
Zechariah chapter 10 tells us that the Lord God is the One who gives what we need when we need it. False gods cannot deliver. Stone idols are just stone. God cares about, watches over and provides for His people.
We should remember and give God our thanks today and every day.
Zechariah promised that God would use the military might of other nations to defeat the enemies of Israel.
The ultimate enemies of everyone: sin, death and the devil would be defeated in a very different way. Zechariah 9:9 is prophecy about Jesus entering Jerusalem on Palm Sunday humbly riding on a donkey. Jesus would win the ultimate victory on the cross and proclaim victory with His resurrection.
Jesus fought the battle for us. He died in our place to pay the penalty for our sin. He won the victory for us. His victory is our victory through the gift of faith in Him.
There is a repeated cycle in the history of the Israelites
- It begins with faithfulness to God in response to His blessings.
- Next comes being unfaithful to God and forgetting that every good gift comes from Him
- So God sends a prophet to call the people to repent or to be punished.
- The people are judged for their sins and cry out to God for help.
- God rescues and restores His people. The cycle starts over again.
After the Babylonian captivity, the people are back in the land. They are called to finish rebuilding the temple and given the promise of restored glory that was fulfilled when Jesus came. They are not living the way God wants them to live.
This is thanksgiving week. Are we thankful to God or complainers. Are we living as God’s faithful people? Isn’t it time to break the cycle and remain thankful and faithful to God?
The people asked about keeping rituals and following the law. Relationships are more important than rules and rituals. Justice and mercy, helping the poor and needy, these are the things that count. Living in faith as a child of God and listening to His voice is what really matters.
The Christian faith is not about what we do but what Jesus has done for us. It is not a list of does and don’ts, it is about walking through life with Jesus and letting Him change us to become the people God created us to be.
Zechariah’s visions continue. The four horses go out to judge the world in four difference directions. Judgment will come on those who invade Israel from the North.
The High Priest will be recognized with the completion of the temple. The day will come when Jesus will be both the King and the High Priest.
It is important that we carefully and faithful do what God tells us to do.
Zechariah is given two more vision. The vision of the flying scroll says that sin, especially stealing and swearing falsely, will be banished.
The second is the vision of wickedness being carried away. When Jesus returns, all forms of wickedness will be banished forever from God’s presence.
God’s people now should do all they can to not having any part of wickedness, lying or stealing. We should try to become more like Jesus.
Tired. Poor. Discouraged. Disorganization. These are words that could describe the people of Jerusalem who had returned from Babylon and were trying to rebuild the temple. They couldn’t do it on their own. Their strength and power were not enough to get the job done. They needed God’s Spirit.
The same is true for us. We need God’s Spirit to guide and empower us so that we can do what God calls us to do. We can’t do God’s work without God’s help.
This is a wonderful picture of God’s gift of forgiveness. The accusations brought against God’s people do not stand up because Jesus has paid for our sins. Our sin stained clothes are removed and we are dressed in the perfectly clean clothes that God gives. When we put on Christ in faith, God sees us through the perfection of Jesus.
There is no condemnation for those in Jesus Christ.