I think I do a lot better with the “thus says the Lord” prophets than I do with the “and I saw a vision” prophets. Those who declare what God has told them to declare leave us “only” with the task of how their words will be fulfilled. But those who tell us what they see, as God pulls back the veil on the supernatural, stretch our imagination as they try to describe what is often indescribable. I’m thinking that’s why my head hurts this morning as I try and pick up what Zechariah’s laying down in the opening chapters of his prophecy.
Maybe that’s why, in the midst of all I don’t quite get, I gravitate to that which seems to be clear. That while I don’t understand all the imagery used to describe the dynamics of how the spiritual realm works, I’m quick to pick up on the explanations given the prophet for what it means. Case in point, if nothing else from the first five chapters of Zechariah, I’m taking away the reminder that God knows.
First, in Zechariah 1, the prophet sees a vision of a man riding on a red horse standing among myrtle trees in a glen. And behind him, more horses with men on them. What’s that about? I’m thankful Zechariah’s thinking the same thing.
Then I said, “What are these, my lord?” The angel who talked with me said to me, “I will show you what they are.” So the man who was standing among the myrtle trees answered, “These are they whom the LORD has sent to patrol the earth.”
(Zechariah 1:9-10 ESV)
Hmmm. God sends earth patrols. Who knew? One of the ways an omniscient God goes about being all-knowing is to send His servants “to check things out on the earth” (MSG). To go throughout the earth (NIV). To traverse it “to and fro” (NKJV). To walk up and down in the land (YLT). Some distant, out of touch God? Apparently not. Disengaged? Wouldn’t seem so. Disinterested in what’s happening on the third planet from the sun? Don’t think so. He sends heavenly beings on heavenly horses to patrol it.
Then I read in Zechariah 4. And there, as part of a revelation of what is to come, Zechariah is shown “a lampstand all of gold, with a bowl on the top of it, and seven lamps on it” (4:2). And the angel emcee walking Zechariah through all this un-worldly imagery asks the prophet, “Do you know what these are?” To which Z. replies, “Nope!”
Then, while explaining the vision to him, the angel clearly identifies what the lampstand with it’s seven lamps represents:
“These seven are the eyes of the LORD, which range through the whole earth.”
(Zechariah 4:10b ESV)
The eyes of the LORD range throughout the whole earth. God sees. God is aware. “The Lord of the whole earth” (4:14b) knows what’s going on even while enthroned in heaven.
Be still my soul. And chew on that.
Lot I don’t get. But with this the Spirit encourages me. Behind the scenes God is intimately aware and actively engaged. His patrols, even now I imagine, are walking up and down the land. From His heavenly realm, God has eyes on our earthly reality. He sees with eyes that miss nothing. So, while I might not get the under-the-hood workings of all the spiritual dynamics, I can be confident that our God is accomplishing His eternal purposes.
For God knows.
This too according to His abundant grace. This too for His everlasting glory.