Sermon #04 Zechariah Series
Title: Horses, Horns and Carpenters
Text: Zechariah 1:7-21
Subject: Christ’s Protecting His Church
Date: Sunday Morning — May 29, 2005
Tape # Zechariah #4
To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim Eduth,
A Psalm of Asaph
The word “Shoshannim” means lilies. “Eduth” means testimony. This is a testimony song about the Church of God, “a lily among thorns.”
“1 Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; thou that dwellest between the cherubims, shine forth. 2 Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh stir up thy strength, and come and save us. 3 Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved. 4 O LORD God of hosts, how long wilt thou be angry against the prayer of thy people? 5 Thou feedest them with the bread of tears; and givest them tears to drink in great measure. 6 Thou makest us a strife unto our neighbours: and our enemies laugh among themselves. 7 Turn us again, O God of hosts, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.”
“8 ¶ Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt: thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it. 9 Thou preparedst room before it, and didst cause it to take deep root, and it filled the land. 10 The hills were covered with the shadow of it, and the boughs thereof were like the goodly cedars. 11 She sent out her boughs unto the sea, and her branches unto the river. 12 Why hast thou then broken down her hedges, so that all they which pass by the way do pluck her? 13 The boar out of the wood doth waste it, and the wild beast of the field doth devour it. 14 Return, we beseech thee, O God of hosts: look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine; 15 And the vineyard which thy right hand hath planted, and the branch that thou madest strong for thyself. 16 It is burned with fire, it is cut down: they perish at the rebuke of thy countenance. 17 Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, upon the son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself. 18 So will not we go back from thee: quicken us, and we will call upon thy name. 19 Turn us again, O LORD God of hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.”
One night late in the month of what we call February, the Lord God came to the Prophet Zechariah and gave him a message for the encouragement of his people. He calls it “the word of the Lord.” God gave him his message for his people in nine distinct visions. These visions are recorded for us in the first six chapters of Zechariah’s prophecy. They were visions involving his people in their present circumstances, assuring them of mercy, grace, and triumphant salvation by Christ.
· God’s servants are men sent of God with a message for his people, — Not just a sermon. — Not just a lesson to learn. — Not just something to “share.” — But a message from God for you, “the word of the Lord.”
· They are men with a message that is needed and relevant to their circumstances.
· It is a message of mercy, grace, and triumphant salvation by Christ.
The visions that Zechariah saw were…
1. A Man on a Red Horse in the midst of a Grove of Myrtle Trees (1:7-17).
2. Four Horns and Four Carpenters (1:18-21).
3. A Man with A Measuring Line in His Hand (2:1-13).
4. The Cleansing of Joshua the High Priest (3:1-10).
5. A Candlestick of Gold and Two Olive Trees by It (4:1-14).
6. A Flying Roll (5:1-4).
7. A Woman, Representing Wickedness, Sitting in a Basket (5:5-11).
8. Four Chariots coming out from Between Two Mountains (6:1-8).
9. And the Crowning of Joshua the High Priest (6:9-15).
These nine visions were all received in one night, the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Sebat (February) during the second year of Darius’ reign over Babylon. Today, we will look at the first two of these visions.
“7 Upon the four and twentieth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Sebat, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying, 8 I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in the bottom; and behind him were there red horses, speckled, and white. 9 Then said I, O my lord, what are these? And the angel that talked with me said unto me, I will shew thee what these be. 10 And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, These are they whom the LORD hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth. 11 And they answered the angel of the LORD that stood among the myrtle trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest.
“12 Then the angel of the LORD answered and said, O LORD of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years? 13 And the LORD answered the angel that talked with me with good words and comfortable words. 14 So the angel that communed with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy. 15 And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction. 16 Therefore thus saith the LORD; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, saith the LORD of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem. 17 Cry yet, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the LORD shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem.”
“18 Then lifted I up mine eyes, and saw, and behold four horns. 19 And I said unto the angel that talked with me, What be these? And he answered me, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem. 20 And the LORD shewed me four carpenters. 21 Then said I, What come these to do? And he spake, saying, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, so that no man did lift up his head: but these are come to fray them, to cast out the horns of the Gentiles, which lifted up their horn over the land of Judah to scatter it.”
Let’s look at these two visions line by line, just as they are recorded for us by the Spirit of God.
A Night Vision
First, Zechariah tells us that the vision God gave him was a night vision. — “I saw by night” (v. 8). No doubt, the words are to be taken literally. It was night time when he received this vision from God. Yet, the words are clearly expressive of the condition of God’s Church. The children of Israel had been captives in Babylon for seventy years. The temple was in ruins. The city of Jerusalem was a desolate place, little more than shambles. The people of God were like myrtle trees in a low valley, overshadowed by powerful, oppressing enemies. And it appeared that things were not going to improve, but only get worse.
· How often the Lord God lays us low in darkness, that he may make himself known in “night visions.”
· How thankful we ought to be for those sweet, blessed, soul-cheering “night visions!”
Savior, Whose glory fills the skies,
Blest Sun of Righteousness, arise,
Light of the world, my only Light,
Dispel the dark and gloomy night.
Dayspring from on High, now be near!
Daystar, arise and spread Your cheer!
Dark is the rising of the sun,
When it appears that I’m alone.
Until Your mercy beams I see,
The lightest trial burdens me;
Arise, O Lord, Your Light impart,
Bring sunshine to Your servant’s heart!
Shine bright in this dark heart of mine,
And flood my soul with Light divine!
Dispel the gloom of sin and grief,
And take away my unbelief!
Your smiling face, O Lord, display,
Shining unto the perfect day!
A Man on a Red Horse
“I saw by night, and behold!” — In the dark of night, “behold,” I saw a wonderful, amazing thing, something astonishing and unexpected. “a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in the bottom; and behind him were there red horses, speckled, and white.”
Zechariah’s first vision is “a man riding upon a red horse.” — Who is this man? The question is not difficult to answer. When Zechariah saw this Man, he knew immediately who he was. He is called “the angel of the Lord” in verse 11. And when the prophet addressed himself to him in verse 9 he called him “Lord.” The word “Lord” here is, Adonai, one of the names of Christ our Savior.
(Psalms 110:1) “The LORD said unto my Lord (Adonai), Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.”
Zechariah knew that the Rider on the Red horse was his Savior and ours, his God and ours, appearing in one of his many pre-incarnate Old Testament manifestations of himself as the God-man, our Mediator.
The Son of God showed himself among his people as a man, because he is the Head of the new race of men. As Adam was a man, the representative man to the whole of fallen humanity, so the Lord Jesus steps forth the last Adam, the last Representative Man of a twice-born and blood-bought race of men. Because of his great love for us he became one flesh with us, and is now most truly called “The man Christ Jesus.” “He is not ashamed to call us brethren.”
He is bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh. In all respects like us, sin alone excepted. He feels as we feel and thinks as we think. And when he was made sin for us, he suffered and died, just like other men. O children of God, rejoice! This glorious man who is “God over all,” is ever in your midst. He never forgets you. He never forsakes you. He abides with us forever. Never can this great covenant Head separated from his body the Church.
· It is this Man, the God-man our Mediator, the Angel of the Lord, who appeared to Abraham on the Mount, when he was about to kill his son Isaac, as Jehovah-jireh (Gen. 22).
· It is this Man, the God-man our Mediator, the Angel of the Lord, who spoke to Moses out of the burning bush, and called himself, “I AM THAT I AM” (Ex. 3).
· It is this Man, the God-man our Mediator, the Angel of the Lord, who revealed himself to Joshua when he was by Jericho, as “the Captain of the Lord’s hosts” (Jos. 5:13-15).
· It is this Man, the God-man our Mediator, the Angel of the Lord, who appeared to Gideon at Orphrah and sent him out to “save Israel from the hand of the Midianites” (Jud. 6:11-22).
· It is this Man, the God-man our Mediator, the Angel of the Lord, who revealed himself to Manoah and his wife and “did wonderously” before them when they sacrificed a meat offering unto him (Jud. 13).
· It is this Man, the God-man our Mediator, the Angel of the Lord, who went before the Israelites in the wilderness.
· It is this Man, the God-man our Mediator, the Angel of the Lord, who is called the Angel of God’s presence, and the messenger and Angel of the covenant.
This Man is none other than the holy blessed Son of God, stepping forward once more to reveal himself as our divine Savior who was to become incarnate in human flesh. As such, he shows himself here as a mighty warrior-king in the midst of his people. — “The Lord is a man of war, the Lord is his name” (Ex. 15:3).
The Lord Jesus appeared here and throughout the Old Testament in a human form, as if to declare his willingness and readiness to come into the world to save his people from their sins at the appointed time. It is as though he were saying, “There is no reluctance on my part. I am ready, my goings forth have been of old, from everlasting, as your Surety and Mediator. I am coming to become a man, to be numbered with the transgressors, to be made sin, to suffer all the wrath of God, and to die for my people. When the fulness of time is come, I will appear. In due time, I will die for the ungodly, that through me you may live forever.”
All these pre-incarnate appearances of Christ were plain and incontestable evidences of the earnest longings of his holy Being to become one of us, to tabernacle openly with us, when the time appointed should come for the accomplishment of our eternal redemption.
How can I say this as it ought to be said? — The Lord Jesus Christ is our willing Surety, Mediator, and Redeemer! He is a willing Savior!
Riding on a Horse
Zechariah saw the Lord Jesus “riding upon a red horse.” That is an emblem of his majesty and glory as our great King. He is riding as the Captain of our Salvation, as the General of a mighty army. And he rides prosperously (Psa. 45:4; Rev. 6:2; 19:11, 14).
(Psalms 45:4) “And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things.”
(Revelation 6:2) “And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.”
(Revelation 19:11) “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.”
(Revelation 19:14) “And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.”
This is he of whom Moses and David sang (Deu. 33:26-29; Psa. 68:32-35).
(Deuteronomy 33:26-29) “There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth upon the heaven in thy help, and in his excellency on the sky. (27) The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them. (28) Israel then shall dwell in safety alone: the fountain of Jacob shall be upon a land of corn and wine; also his heavens shall drop down dew. (29) Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the LORD, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency! and thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee; and thou shalt tread upon their high places.”
(Psalms 68:32-35) “Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth; O sing praises unto the Lord; Selah: (33) To him that rideth upon the heavens of heavens, which were of old; lo, he doth send out his voice, and that a mighty voice. (34) Ascribe ye strength unto God: his excellency is over Israel, and his strength is in the clouds. (35) O God, thou art terrible out of thy holy places: the God of Israel is he that giveth strength and power unto his people. Blessed be God.”
As our dear Savior was ready and willing to come to redeem us, as he longed to save us, so he is quick to help his people in all our times of need. No difficulties can prevent him giving an early and speedy relief. He comes to us leaping on the mountains and skipping on the hills. And, soon, at the last day he will come quickly to put us into the possession of that salvation he has wrought out for us.
A Red Horse
Zechariah saw the Lord Jesus “riding upon a red horse.” We are not told specifically what the color of the horse signifies; but there are several things that come to mind.
· Perhaps the redness of the horse spoke of our Lord’s coming into the world as a man, the last Adam, whose name means “red earth.”
· Perhaps the color red is representative of our Savior’s vengeance and wrath against his enemies and their destruction by him.
· Perhaps the red color of the horse was an emblem of his own precious blood shed for us for the remission of our sins.
· Isaiah’s prophecy seems to indicate that the color red has a symbolic reference to all these things: — His Manhood — His Fury — and His Atonement (Isa. 63:1-9).
(Isaiah 63:1-9) “Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. (2) Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? (3) I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. (4) For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. (5) And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me. (6) And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth. (7) I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the LORD, and the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses. (8) For he said, Surely they are my people, children that will not lie: so he was their Saviour. (9) In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.”
The Myrtle Trees
Look at verse 8 again. This Man, the Lord Jesus, riding upon a red horse, is seen standing in the midst of a grove of myrtle trees in a low lying valley. — “And he stood among the myrtle trees which were in the bottom.”
The myrtle tree is an evergreen with dark green leaves and white, star-like, flowers that have a very fragrant smell. When the flower is crushed, the sweet fragrance of the flower is even richer.
These myrtle trees are symbolic of Christ’s Church. Here the Church is not portrayed as the tall, stately cedars of Lebanon, or the strong oak, but as a small myrtle tree in a piece of bottom land, in a low, dark valley, surrounded by mountainous oppressors, but giving off the sweet fragrances of grace under the weight of affliction and adversity.
· Bruise these flowers with tribulation, and you will smell patience.
· Bruise them with hatred, and you will smell love.
· Let them be bruised with trouble, and you will smell hope.
· Let them be bruised by their own weakness, and you will smell strength.
· Let them be bruised by need, and you will smell faith.
· Let them be bruised by persecution, and you will smell faithfulness.
But in the midst of this grove of myrtle trees stands the Lord Jesus Christ, our King, the Captain of our Salvation, on as red horse! He ever stands in the midst of his Church to defend and deliver her. He stands in the midst of his Church in the valley, where the river of God’s infinite love flows to water the myrtle tress. And he stands in her midst all the time.
Remember, she is pictured here, not on the mountain top, but “in the bottom.” That’s where you find God’s people, “in the bottom.” But there, “in the bottom,” there stands with her this Man, riding upon a red horse!
· When corruptions prevail, temptations are strong, grace is weak, and God hides his face, there, “in the bottom,” there stands with her this Man, riding upon a red horse!
· When the Spirit withdraws his influences, there, “in the bottom,” there stands with her this Man, riding upon a red horse!
· When persecuted, or pestered with false teachers, there, “in the bottom,” there stands with her this Man, riding upon a red horse!
· When it appears that all life and power are almost gone; yet even then, there, “in the bottom,” there stands with her this Man, riding upon a red horse, in the midst of his people, to sympathize with us, and ready to help and defend us, to deliver us out of our troubles, to protect us from our enemies, and to restore us.
Look at verse 8 again. — “And behind him were there red horses, speckled, and white.” When Zechariah saw this scene, he did exactly what you might expect him to do. He asked the Lord to explain the vision.
(Zechariah 1:9-10) “Then said I, O my lord, what are these? And the angel that talked with me said unto me, I will show thee what these be. (10) And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, These are they whom the LORD hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth.”
Perhaps these other horses and those riding them behind the Lord Jesus represent the saints of God, godly and faithful followers of Christ, the whole Church of Christ, whom he “hath made his goodly horse in the battle” (Zec. 10:3), who are compared to a company of horses in Pharaoh’s chariot (Song 1:9).
As the Lord Jesus is portrayed as one riding on a white horse in this Gospel dispensation, as the Captain of an army and mighty conqueror; so the armies of heaven that follow him on white horses, and clothed in white, are the called, and faithful, and chosen (Rev. 17:14; 19:14).
(Revelation 17:14) “These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.”
(Revelation 19:14) “And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.”
We are pictured here as the Lord’s army sent out “to walk to and fro in the earth,” riding upon red horses, speckled horses, and white horses.
· Riding upon red horses, representing the fact that we are a people washed in our Savior’s own blood, the blood with which his own garments are dyed.
· Riding upon speckled horses, bay horses, representing the fact that our lives in this world are speckled. — (Comforts and Troubles — Strength and Weakness — Joys and Sorrows — Satisfaction and Frustration — Successes and Failures!)
· Riding upon white horses, representing our ultimate and sure triumph and victory over all our foes! — Clothed with fine Lenin, clean and white, which is the righteousness of the saints, we ride upon white horses as those who are more than conquerors through him that loved us!
It may be that these other horses, and those riding them behind the Lord Jesus represent gospel preachers, who are men sent out “to walk to and fro in the earth,” riding upon red horses, speckled horses, and white horses to serve him and his people.
In verse 11, Zechariah tells us the report given by the Lord’s servants to him of what they have seen in the earth.
(Zechariah 1:11) “And they answered the angel of the LORD that stood among the myrtle trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest.”
At first glance this might appear to be a good report. But this is a report concerning the nations of the earth. They were all at rest, living in peace and prosperity, secure and comfortable, untroubled by their sin, their rebellion, and the threatened judgment and wrath of God upon them. Yet, Jerusalem and the temple of God were in a state of ruin.
The fact is, that which we see in the world around us seems to completely contradict the promises of our God. Doesn’t it? The fact that judgment is delayed inflates the pride of rebels. And the apparent prosperity of the wicked tends to depress the hearts of God’s saints.
Such times as these are times for our God to arise and work his wonders in the earth. Look at verse 12.
Here we see our Lord Jesus Christ, our God-man Mediator, the One riding upon the red horse, standing in the midst of the grove of myrtle trees in the bottom, interceding, calling upon the Lord of hosts to intervene for his people.
(Zechariah 1:12) “Then the angel of the LORD answered and said, O LORD of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years?”
We have here an interceding Savior. That same Christ, who is on earth in spirit, on the red horse, is in heaven in person, pleading before the throne.
Let me not talk coldly about this, but carry your hearts up to heaven. Yonder, I see him, the Angel of the covenant — he pleading — he pleads for mercy. Mercy sent him to earth. Mercy is his petition now. He pleads for present mercy. His cry is, “How long? Two thousand years is it since my blood was shed. Yet my kingdom has not come. Yet antichrist is not slain. Satan’s seat is still upon the seven hills. — “O Lord of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem?”
For whom does he make his intercession? He pleads for Jerusalem and Judah. — “I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou bust given me.” He points to his wounds, and declares himself to be no other than that mighty One who discharged the Father’s will and bore the whole of wrath divine, to the full satisfaction of justice for his own! And this mighty Advocate on High shall prevail!
Does he plead for us? What have we then to fear? Let us raise his banner high. Victory is sure! Babylon shall fall and Zion shall be delivered from her captivity! Is not this God’s answer to our great Advocate?
The next thing we see in this vision is the answer of a gracious God. As soon as the plea was made, the Lord answered the angel that talked with him, “with good words and comfortable words” to convey to us.
(Zechariah 1:13-17) “And the LORD answered the angel that talked with me with good words and comfortable words. (14) So the angel that communed with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy. (15) And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction. (16) Therefore thus saith the LORD; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, saith the LORD of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem. (17) Cry yet, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the LORD shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem.”
O Zion, there are good things in store for you. Church of God, your time of travail shall soon be over, and your children shall be brought forth. Your captivity shall end, and the day of manifestation shall appear. Bear the rod patiently for the appointed season. Though in the darkness of night for a season, trust your God. He has not forgotten you! — “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.”
God loves you with a love too deep for human imagination to understand. He loves you with all his infinite heart. Therefore, be of good courage. She cannot fail aught to whom God speaks “good words and comfortable words.”
What these comfortable words are the prophet goes on to tell us. — “I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy.” He loves his Church and cannot bear her to go astray to others. When she has done so, he will chasten her; but he cannot endure the thought that she should suffer too much or too heavily.
He will use his enemies to afflict and chasten her. Yet, he is furious with them because they do. When the Lord God seems most to leave his Church, yet his heart is burns with love for her. And whenever God uses a rod to chasten his her, he always breaks rod, as if he despised the very rod he used to give his children pain. As soon as the Lord smote Israel, whether by Moabite, or Midianite, Babylonian, Persian, Assyrian, Greek, or Roman, in every instance, he broke the rod in pieces as soon as he had used it. He feels the smart of the rod far more than we do. — “As a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him,” and the rod cuts him more than it cuts us.
I say, be of good courage. Our God has not forgotten us. We may live and serve him in great obscurity, but he has not forgotten us. You may think that the Lord has passed you by; but he has not. He who counts the stars, and calls them all by name, has no limit to his understanding and no measure to his knowledge. He binds up the brokenhearted and heals their wounds. He knows your case and circumstances as much and as perfectly as if you were the only creature he had ever made, or the only saint he had ever loved.
Yes, our God shall gather his elect out of all the nations into which he has scattered them, and destroy the nations for holding them captive. “And so all Israel shall be saved!”
In verses 18-21 the prophet Zechariah gives us his second visions, which is but a revelation from God by which he shows us how he will save his people. In the first part of this second vision, he sees four horns and learns what they represent (vv. 18-19).
(Zechariah 1:18-19) “Then lifted I up mine eyes, and saw, and behold four horns. (19) And I said unto the angel that talked with me, What be these? And he answered me, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.”
Horns represent power. There are four of them, indicating the four points of the compass. These four horns represent the powers of the earth, the nations of the earth, and the people of the earth opposing, afflicting, persecuting, and scattering God’s people (Rev. 17).
Zechariah saw these four horns pushing this way and that, with united power, destroying, tearing down, and trampling under foot. I can imagine his anguish and dismay. But the vision has another scene.
(Zechariah 1:20-21) “And the LORD showed me four carpenters. (21) Then said I, What come these to do? And he spake, saying, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, so that no man did lift up his head: but these are come to fray them, to cast out the horns of the Gentiles, which lifted up their horn over the land of Judah to scatter it.”
Blessed be God, he has four carpenters, with mighty a mighty hammer in their hand, by which they both build the walls of Zion and smash the horns of Zion’s foes to powder.
I have no question about who these four carpenters are. They are Gospel preachers.
(Isaiah 58:12) “And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.”
(Isaiah 61:4) “And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.”
These four carpenters are men sent of God to tear down and to build, to tear down all that opposes God’s Church and to build his Church. They are sent to fray all our foes and to build God’s house, to smash the horns of the Gentiles to powder and scatter them and to build the cities of Zion (the churches of God) through prosperity and spread them abroad through all the earth. By their good and comfortable words, “the Lord shall yet comfort Zion and shall yet choose Jerusalem.”
· There are four carpenters, enough of them to do the work.
· They are found in the four corners of the earth.
· They are the right men. — Rough Carpenters!
And I have no doubt about the hammer they use. It is the Gospel of Christ (Jer. 23:29; 2 Cor. 10:4-5).
(Jeremiah 23:29) “Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?”
(Hosea 6:5) “Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth: and thy judgments are as the light that goeth forth.”
(2 Corinthians 10:4-5) “(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) (5) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”
(Isaiah 35:10) "And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away."
And that is the way it shall be. Let us be glad and rejoice!
(Revelation 14:6-8) “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, (7) Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. (8) And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.”
(Revelation 18:20) “Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.”
(Revelation 19:1-9) “And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: (2) For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. (3) And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever. (4) And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia. (5) And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. (6) And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. (7) Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. (8) And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. (9) And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.”