Sunday 29 April 2012
Read Zechariah 5:1-4
‘I looked again—and there before me was a flying scroll!’
Hired planes trail larger-than-life tactical messages. We can’t help gazing at the aerial adverts. In his next vision, Zechariah looked up too and saw a huge flying scroll. Although scrolls were the books of the time, this one from the heavenly library was special. Did its flying appearance signify an all-pervasive divine message?
We wonder about its size – thirty feet long and fifteen feet high. Was the size significantly associated with the former temple and the tabernacle? It was the size of the forecourt of the temple where civilian leaders turned to the priests who then turned to the Lord for answers. It was also the size of the holy place of the tabernacle which contained the show-bread table, altar of incense and the golden candlestick.
Did this vision represent a revival of the priestly role in administering justice in the community? What is the basis of such justice? God’s law – as represented by scroll. The part of the scroll that was unrolled held two messages, possibly written in two columns. Some think this reminiscent of the two tablets of stone of the Ten Commandments. The curses the angel read out were for violations of the commandments against stealing and against use of false testimony in God’s name. Why this symbolic pair?
The temple rebuilding was connected with social order and justice. Besides bringing blessing, the temple’s completion would signal stability and a system that would protect the innocent through priestly rule. In the end, divine justice ferrets out those who think they’ve duped God and man.
Is the image of God’s curse destroying the houses of the unrepentant thief and liar ironic? The very type of materials they would have used for the temple, they had used first for their homes, to the neglect of the temple (Haggai 1:3). God would pulverise the wood and stones of the homes of the unrighteous. The righteous would enjoy the imminent blessings of community living obediently under God. We pray that in our day many will turn to Christ and know the blessing of kingdom-living.
How do I advertise God’s Word?