Day 2

Zechariah’s Visions

from the Zechariah and Malachi reading plan


Zechariah 3:1-10, Zechariah 4:1-14, Romans 3:21-26, 1 Corinthians 1:28-29

BY Rebecca Faires

We adopted two of our sons from Ethiopia nine years ago today. It has been a long journey for all of us, and I am so glad that I’m nine years down this road and not back at the starting line. As soon as we leapt over that starting line and landed on the ground in Africa, I thought I was probably going to die. We later realized I was just pregnant with baby number four. When the nannies thrust two sweet, sad, screaming boys at us we realized we were massively unprepared.

The early part of our adoption story is filled with diapers, fungi, and giardia. I remember how I longed to have all of the filth removed from my children and my home, but it seemed an unending struggle. And our boys couldn’t fix it themselves. Those sweet babies needed love, and sometimes latex-gloved hands, to help them out.

Just like helpless, sick toddlers from an orphanage with no running water, we, too, came to Christ dressed in filthy clothes. And we couldn’t get free of it on our own. Notice that in the fourth vision from today’s reading, the Lord doesn’t say to Joshua, “Get yourself cleaned up!” but instead “Take off his filthy clothes!” (Zechariah 3:4). He needed someone to do it for him, and so do we.

Christ removes our iniquity, and then He clothes us in festive robes (v.4). I love how the gospel gives us a total turn-around. He could have replaced filthy garments with a reasonable and sensible second-hand T-shirt. That’s certainly better than where we were. But Christ loves us and dresses us in the best He has to offer. He washes us clean and elevates us from the gutter to His right hand, like true sons and daughters.

Not only are our filthy rags removed, but we are made to dwell in the shadow of His covering, where we, now filled with the joy of the good news of the gospel, may invite our neighbors to also find rest (v.10). And as sons and daughters, we are invited to walk in His way and keep His mandates (v.7).

Just as we are unable to make ourselves clean by our own scrubbing, we are also dependent upon Him and His constant character. Our newness of life is achieved “not by strength or by might, but by my Spirit” (Zechariah 4:6). God is the one who makes the mountains a plain (v.7) and removes all obstacles. In this case, Zechariah prophesied the seemingly impossible completion of the temple. But in its true fulfillment, Christ establishes His temple and makes the mountains into plains (Isaiah 40:4). He alone breaks down the barriers of sin, and declares us righteous, a fit dwelling place for His Spirit.

And, newly cleansed, we will see that just as the temple completion in restored Jerusalem was the work of God alone, so also the conversion of our hearts and the cleansing of our guilt is achieved through grace (Zechariah 4:7).

Post Comments (39)

39 thoughts on "Zechariah’s Visions"

  1. Natasha R says:

    I am a perfectionist, and I’m constantly trying to “fix” myself. Today’s devotional reminds me that it is God’s sweet grace, awesome power and perfect love that will change /cleanse / transform me. I am not doing this alone. In fact, I can’t do it alone! I can read books and take courses, but the most important thing is for me to submit myself to his cleansing, transforming power. This is such a soothing realisation.

  2. sc says:

    thank you so much! it helped so much!
    I wish the SRT commentaries go a little deeper into the explanations- visions/prophecies can be so confusing and even the book (i bought) which I thought would has very little….

    1. Autumn Milleville says:

      I use the ESV study Bible. There are notes on almost every single verse that explains what’s going on and helps to decipher the oracles and visions throughout this book.

  3. sc says:

    …Angel returned and roused me (Zechariah) as one awakened out of sleep – and asked “What do you see?” Jesus also woke up his disciples from sleep to pray on the night of Gethsemane…

    God wakes us up from spiritual slumber and asks – “What do you see?”
    I wish to see the amazing work of the Lord of Armies and his kingdom come!

  4. Josie Smith says:

    This grace upon grace. My heart is grateful beyond words for Jesus and his sacrificial overabundant unashamed love for us. How awesome is the Lord.

  5. Angela Jones says:

    The beauty of her story with her adopted sons made things so real and alive to the truth of the verses read today. Thank you for sharing your experience and make the reality of the Word more sweet.

  6. Pam Karlberg says:

    The phrase “The Lord Of Armies” always catches me and makes me pause. It was said four times in today’s reading. I see it as God’s absolute power and sovereignty- King of Kings and Lord of Lords. It leaves me in awe of not only His power, but His incredible grace to offer us His righteousness.

  7. Bree Beal says:

    I didn’t come to Jesus on my own. I was pursued and lovingly guided by the Holy Spirit. That day I stood in the sanctuary of Immanuel Bible Church was the beginning of my new life. I walked into Immanuel filthy, broken, wretched and wrecked and after giving my life to Christ, I walked out clean, new, holy and a righteous daughter of God the Father. That was a wonderful day in my life and I’ll never get over the wonder of it. That’s the day I inherited a new family and began to embrace my new identity. As part of our welcome packets from Immanuel Bible Church, we all received our very own Bible. The women received beautiful pink Bibles with silver gilding and the men received attractive brown Bibles with gold gilding. I fell in love with the Word of God that day and all these years later I’m even more in love with it. Today, it’s only by God’s spirit and none of my own strength or might that I continue to walk with the King. He alone has cleansed me and He alone calls me beloved daughter and for that I rejoice!

    Heavenly Father, I love You! You rescued me, cleansed me, adopted me and called me Your own. How magnificent to know that I belong to You. How refreshing it is thay my sins are forgiven, and what a privilege it is to be called Your daughter and a citizen of Heaven. All honor and Glory belong to You Father. In Jesus Name! Amen.

  8. Maura says:

    He removed the filthy rags, forgave my sin and placed festive robes on me to give me a new beginning. The Light, the Truth, a Shepherd. Oh God all that you have given and forgiven that we might be called your children and run into your arms Father. Please open my mouth in praise and help me not to be a stumbling block but to be one of the voices shouting Grace to it. I have failed so many times and yet your arms are open. Thank you my mighty and gracious King.

    1. Amy Mahon says:

      Love this.

    2. Erica Redmond says:

      I too am reading to catch up…
      This exchange of clothing has built a mental picture for me to hold onto when I am holding onto my own ways and sense that God is working in my life to teach me that he is leading me away from my own sinfulness and into His glorious light. I must invite Him to work and allow Him to work in me… allow this exchange… not hold onto the filthy robes.

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