The word of the Lord often comes to his prophet in dreams, “I saw in the night, and behold, a man riding on a red horse! He was standing among the myrtle trees in the glen, and behind him were red, sorrel, and white horses” (Zechariah 1:8). This is the first of eight as Zechariah begins his book: four horns scattered by four blacksmiths, a man with a measuring tape sizing up Jerusalem, Joshua the priest in filthy garments made clean, a golden lamp stand with seven lamps, a flying scroll, twenty cubits long, a woman in a basket carried by two women with wings, and four chariots led by red and black and white and spotted horses. Israel marveled at these visions and wondered at their meaning. They wanted to know if God still cared about them. Was the answer somewhere in these cloudy visions?
Then, as if clearing his throat, God speaks plainly through Zechariah, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart’” (Zechariah 7:9-10). There is the answer. This is God’s will for your life. The dreams may carry Israel’s future but these clear words speak to today. I am reminded of something Mark Twain is said to have said, “It ain’t the parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.” It was the clear words of God Israel had disobeyed that led to their troubles.
Israel feared that God was no longer listening. Her fear was justified. “As I called, and they would not hear, so they called, and I would not hear” (Zechariah 7:13). How often do we bring our troubles to God and wonder if he is listening when it is we who did not listen to him that led to our troubles in the first place.
God, it is so good to talk with You and I know You listen, not because I obey everything You say, but because Your Son did. He fulfilled all righteousness and through Jesus, I can sit next to You and bring you my troubles and my joys. I share my life with You because You gave Your life for me.
I obey now, not because I have to, but because I want to. You keep changing me to be more like You and more and more I like the things You like. May Your desires become my desires. May I be like You and may others see what You are like by what I do.