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Our Present and Future Hope

God Will Answer When We Pray

After Zechariah’s discouraging implication that God is weary of his people and will no longer be their Shepherd, Zechariah has some good news. He concludes his prophetic writings with an optimistic prophecy of a better tomorrow, a future hope.

This is a hope that the people of his day can anticipate. But it’s also a hope we can claim today.

What is this grand, future expectation?

For the people of Zechariah’s day, when they pray to God, he will again answer. They can count on him to be there for them. He will again call them his people, and they will again call him their Lord. They will turn to each other. Reunited.

This union with God reminds us of how Adam and Eve walked in the garden of Eden with their Creator. In the cool of the evening, they hung out and enjoyed one another’s company. They lived in community with God in his creation, spending time with one another.

We can also anticipate community with our Creator today. Though we don’t physically walk with him in a garden each evening, when we call out to him, he answers. He is our Lord, and we are his people.

Where do we place our hope? Do we live lives that reflect both our present hope and our future hope? Click To Tweet

Our Future Hope

But Zechariah has more. This message for the people’s future is for our future too (Zechariah 14:9). We await it in eager expectation . . . but for what?

Centuries after Zechariah, the disciple John has a compelling vision of the future, a look into our future. In his forward-looking revelation, John writes of a time when all nations and all kings will come together in the holy temple of the Lord and the Lamb (Revelation 21:22–26).

What a day that will be, a day we hope for and long to see. We can look forward to this time with great anticipation, the day when God will reign as King over the whole earth.

He will become the Lord of everyone. His name will stand as the only name for people to call on for their rescue, for their salvation.

This will restore our community with God, just as he intended from the beginning.

[Read through the Bible with us this year. Today’s reading is Zechariah 12-14, and today’s post is on Zechariah 13:9.]

Learn more about all twelve of the Bible’s Minor Prophets in Peter’s book, Return to Me: 40 Prophetic Teachings about Unfaithfulness, Punishment, and Hope from the Minor Prophets

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Bible Insights

God’s Wall of Fire Will Protect

Zechariah’s Vision

One night the prophet Zechariah has a vision. It’s about a wall of fire. In this supernatural dream, he talks to an angel who is about to measure the city of Jerusalem to see just how big it has become. But before he leaves to do this, another angel arrives. He tells the first angel that it doesn’t matter. There are now so many people in Jerusalem that erecting walls around them to keep them safe isn’t an option. The city is too big, and building a wall isn’t feasible.

Protection

Living in an unwalled city would normally leave the residents vulnerable to attack and abuse from their enemies. But now there’s no need for concern. In this case, the Lord God will himself become the city’s wall. He will protect his people. He’ll do this by becoming a wall of fire around the city. And then his glory will shine from within.

What a powerful image.

There is now no need for a physical wall. In its place will be a spiritual barrier, an incredible wall of blazing fire. But God will not merely provide this fiery fume. Instead, he himself will be this supernatural wall of flames.

No enemy—physical or spiritual—can pass through God’s holy wall of fire. He will protect us. He will keep us secure. We’ll have nothing to fear—provided we stay inside. If we’re within the Lord’s city, his hedge of fire will surround us. God, through his blazing defensive shield, will envelop us with his protection.

Illumination

But there’s more to God’s fiery fortification.

Remember, God will become this wall of fire. Fire gives off light. God’s glory from his ring of fire will illuminate the city and fill it. His glory will surround all who live there.

Though Zechariah’s vision looks toward our future, we can be sure God will protect us today. Let us bask in the glory of his presence.

[Read through the Bible with us this year. Today’s reading is Zechariah 1-4 and today’s post is on Zechariah 2:5.]

Learn more about all twelve of the Bible’s Minor Prophets in Peter’s book, Return to Me: 40 Prophetic Teachings about Unfaithfulness, Punishment, and Hope from the Minor Prophets

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Bible Insights

Similarities Between Zechariah and Revelation

End Times Prophecy

The book of Zechariah contains prophecy given by God to the prophet Zechariah about future events. A few centuries later the apostle John also had a revelation from God in the form of a dream, which he recorded in the book of Revelation. Consider the similarities between the books of Zechariah and Revelation.

What is interesting is reoccurring images that are found in both:

  • Four horses: a black horse, a red horse, and a white horse. (The fourth horse is dapple in Zechariah and pale in Revelation).
  • Four winds
  • Seven eyes
  • Two olive trees
  • Gold lampstand

Several of these images are only found in these two prophecies, while the others are found predominately in these two prophecies.

There are also other parallels, though not as exclusive

  • horns,
  • measure,
  • stone,
  • temple,
  • bowl,
  • mountain,
  • fountain,
  • scroll,
  • chariots,
  • spirits,
  • Jerusalem,
  • Holy Mountain, and
  • earthquake, among others.

I’m not sure if this means that we can use one passage to interpret and better understand the other, but the similarities are intriguing and compelling. Perhaps the God who revealed both messages intended for us to connect the dots—or maybe they’re just some really powerful images that are worth repeating.

Either way, there is a sense of awe and wonder contained in the messages in both Zechariah and Revelation.

Learn more about all twelve of the Bible’s Minor Prophets in Peter’s book, Return to Me: 40 Prophetic Teachings about Unfaithfulness, Punishment, and Hope from the Minor Prophets

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Book about the Minor Prophets

Book 4 in the Dear Theophilus Series

You may know about the prophet Jonah, the guy who spent a three-day time-out in the belly of a large fish, but what about some of the lesser-known prophets?

Do you know of Micah, Obadiah, or Malachi?

What about Nahum, Zephaniah, or Zechariah? Oh, my! The list goes on. It’s enough to make our minds spin.

Rounding out these twelve Minor Prophets are Amos, Hosea, Habakkuk, Haggai, and Joel.

The Bible includes the work of these twelve prophets who carry the unfortunate label of minor. It’s not that their work isn’t significant, it’s that their books are shorter.

If you’re like most people, you scarcely remember their names, let alone having ever read their books in the Bible.

It’s time we change this.

In the book Return to Me: 40 Prophetic Teachings about Unfaithfulness, Punishment, and Hope from the Minor Prophets, you’ll discover:

  • The order of each prophet’s ministry (because the Bible doesn’t list them chronologically)
  • The significant messages they address
  • Their place in the biblical timeline
  • The umbrella of hope that outshines criticism of unfaithfulness and prophecies of punishment
  • The powerful way their words apply to us today

Return to Me is book four of the Dear Theophilus series. In it, you’ll get all this and more:

  • Thought-provoking insights that are part Bible study and part devotional
  • A deeper understanding of these lesser-known prophets
  • A greater appreciation of how the Old Testament informs our lives today

Let’s dive into the intriguing lives and ministries of these amazing messengers from God in the book Return to Me: 40 Prophetic Teachings about Unfaithfulness, Punishment, and Hope from the Minor Prophets.

[Return to Me was originally published as Dear Theophilus, Minor Prophets.]

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Bible Insights

Posts about the Minor Prophets

For the past several months, most of the ABibleADay posts have been about the minor prophets. Recall that they are called minor not because their prophecy is insignificant, but because their books are short!

Though more posts may be added in the future, there are no more planned at this time. See all posts about the twelve Minor Prophets:

  1. Hosea
  2. Joel
  3. Amos
  4. Obadiah
  5. Jonah
  6. Micah
  7. Nahum
  8. Habakkuk
  9. Zephaniah
  10. Haggai
  11. Zechariah
  12. Malachi

Learn more about all twelve of the Bible’s Minor Prophets in Peter’s book, Return to Me: 40 Prophetic Teachings about Unfaithfulness, Punishment, and Hope from the Minor Prophets

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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