Sermon: God’s Plans for the Future

God’s Plans for the Future
Zechariah 1:18 – 2:13
October 16, 2022

Jeanne Calment was born in 1875 in Arles, France.  When she was 13, she met Vincent Van Gogh when he came to her hometown to paint (she didn’t like him).  She stopped riding her bicycle in 1975 — at the age of 100.  The New York Times wrote about her, “Calment might as well have stepped out of a time machine.  When she was born, Victor Hugo was still alive and Marcel Proust was just a boy.  Alexander Graham Bell had yet to invent the telephone.  The gas-powered automobile, the airplane, and the use of electric power all lay in the future. ‘I see badly, I hear badly, I can’t fell anything, but everything’s fine,’ she says.  When asked what kind of a future she expects, she replies, ‘Short, very short.’” [NY Times, quoted in RD, 8/95.]

There was no New York Times reporter available to ask the Israelites what they thought about their situation when Judah returned to its land after the Babylonian captivity, but given that after laying the foundation of the temple for its reconstruction and then doing nothing more for 15 years because of opposition that Judah faced, I suspect that the average citizen might have responded similarly — “our future is short, very short.”  They were dispirited and discouraged about the future (as we also are often tempted to be).

To encourage the newly returned citizens as well as the citizens who had remained in Judah during the captivity, Zechariah was given a series of prophecies to encourage Judah about the future and to exhort them to continue the work.  In the opening six chapters of this book, Zechariah reveals eight visions that he was given on the night of Feb. 15, 519 B.C. (1:7).  The second and third visions actually build on the first vision — the second vision (1:18-21) expanding God’s anger against the nations (1:15) and the third vision expanding God’s commitment to restore Judah (1:14).  Combined, these two visions reveal how God comforted and will comfort Israel (1:13) in her troubles and opposition — 

God comforts by the revelation of His plans for judgment and blessing.

This morning, we consider Zechariah’s second and third visions:

  1. What Zechariah Saw in the Second Vision (1:18, 20)
  2. What Zechariah’s Second Vision Meant (1:19, 21)
  3. What Zechariah Saw in the Third Vision (2:1-3)
  4. What Zechariah’s Third Vision Meant (2:4-5)
  5. What Zechariah’s Visions Teach About God (2:6-13)

Download the rest of this sermon on Zechariah 1:18 – 2:13.

The audio will be posted on the GBC website by tomorrow.

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