–insights into reading the prophets
Prophecy appears rather complex and mystifying, yet at the same time it is as if the Spirit of Truth is pregnant with the telling, with the revealing of God’s overall truth and unfolding plan. Each prophet concerned himself foremost with delivering the word of God, the message of God, to his immediate generation, and yet the Spirit uses these very situations to not only address the issues then, but is eager, in fact bursting, to tell forth God’s ultimate purpose and story.
Zechariah was one such prophet. In the book of Zechariah, chapters 8-14, there are recorded 5 specific prophecies concerning the Messiah and His sufferings. There are yet other prophecies concerning the Messiah in the first seven chapters, however, those are a little more obscure. I list the 5 specific prophecies here:
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.-Zechariah 9:9
And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.
And the Lord said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prized at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the Lord. –Zechariah 11:12,13
And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. –Zechariah 12:10
And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.
Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.-Zechariah 13:6,7
And yet it’s not just Zechariah, but prophet after prophet, in book after book of the prophets, is testament to this same phenomena. Thus Peter states:
“Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:
“Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” 1 Peter 1:10, 11
And so the next time you read prophecy, my advice is to relax: You don’t have to feel that you have to figure everything out, know everything about Biblical history, or assign meaning to every detail. Simply read it through, enjoy it, thrill to it, and let the Holy Spirit testify to you of the work of God and be edified.
—From Zechariah Chapters 8-14
Mini studies from Through the Bible in 52 Weeks