Thursday, November 06, 2008

Zechariah 5:1-4

In this vision, a scroll goes out carrying a curse on those that swear by Yahweh's holy name falsely and those that steal. These are problems back in Hosea 4, so if we're thinking of Zechariah within the book of the 12 minor prophets, these are the problems that first brough his condemnation. Thus we might see them as summarising the prophetic warnings, even if they also evoke the requirements of the Decalogue. (Though we need to work out if the scroll is double sided.) Historically, there's also evidence that Darius encouraged local provinces to codify their laws as early as 519BC. This would fit our time period fairly well, though I think it's more relevant in chapter 7. Here, the clear message is that with God's presence in the land, evil must go. Reference to the "curse" does evoke Isaiah 24:6 and Jeremiah 23:10 and thereby Isaiah 24:6.

God's presence in the land requires holiness. As in the days of the exile, so now.

Thus holiness characterises God's people for, without it no one will see God (Hebrews 12). That's why God disciplines us. And we must be warned that on the day of Christ's return, every evil doer will be cast into hell (Rev 20). But that isn't to say that we can be holy enough on our own. We long for one who can make us holy by his death for us.

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