Week 32: Malachi 1-4; 1 Chronicles 1-24
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Zechariah’s Dreams: Zechariah relates nine dreams that God uses to speak to him about the coming Messiah. The first eight are paired and the final one summarizes the message. The first (1:8-17) is of four horsemen and the eighth of four chariots (6:1-8). Both are patrolling the Earth establishing God’s will and bringing peace. Messiah will reign bringing God’s peace to the world.
The second dream (1:18-21) symbolizes God’s judging Israel and then delivering them from their oppressors. The seventh (5:5-11) shows how God used the exile to help remove the sin of idolatry from the people. Messiah will judge the people but will also remove their sins.
The third (2:1-13) and sixth (5:1-4) dreams symbolize how Messiah will measure His Kingdom using the plumb line of the Scriptures as the measure of His Kingdom. Having the law written on the hearts will remove sin from the people. Finally, the dual role of the Messiah as both Priest (3:1-10) and King (4:1-14) are seen. Messiah brings forgiveness of their sins — symbolized by the putting off of the dirty garment. As king, Messiah will accomplish God’s plan amongst all nations — symbolized by the building of the Temple. The two trees in the sixth dream further underscore how the two roles complement each other in fulfilling God’s plan.
The final dream shows a crown being placed on the head of Joshua the priest. But the text calls him “Branch.” We know from Zechariah 3 and elsewhere in the scriptures that this is one of the names used for the Messiah. God will crown Him — give Him authority over the earth.
Zechariah chapters 9-11 speak of the first coming of Yeshua as the humble King and the rejected shepherd. Zechariah chapters 12-14 present Yeshua in His second coming. Messiah will judge the world and rule it in righteousness from Jerusalem.
Malachi’s Disputes: The book is built around six disputes that God has with the people that have returned from exile. They are living in the land but they are only practicing Judaism and not having a relationship with Yehovah. God is calling them to understand that while religion is about external behavior, true faith is about loving God and His Law.
The people distain for God by: doubting God’ love for them; offering inappropriate sacrifices; accusing His of tolerating injustice and while failing to recognize their obedience; failing to tithe and treating each other treacherously. Specifically, men were leaving their Jewish wives and marrying foreign women. God answers each of their accusations. He points out His love by reminding them that He chose them and remembers their obedience; He reminds them of the importance of loving Him and not just participating in religious practices; and reminds them of their coming Messiah!
The book closes with a call to follow the law and the prophets.