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Christmas prelude: the Messiah is coming...

The minor prohets are full of poetic verse, visionary language and prose that hits to the depth of a soul. The people listened to them speak of a coming King who would be their Savior and friend, King and Judge. Prophecy would be fulfilled, hundreds of years later, but until then...hope and longing. 1st Vision - Zechariah 1:8-17 Angels roam. The earth is quiet. Sin is relaxed. People do not fight against it. God is jealous and angry. When will He show mercy? Mercy comes in the crushing. Redemption comes in the valley. He will comfort once more. He will be King - not only of the angels But of man, once again. 2nd Vision - Zechariah 1:18-21 Four horns of the wicked ambush God's people. Scattered. Four craftsmen, seeking to destroy opposition to God equals unparalleled curse. But wait, Horns of the wicked will be destroyed. And Horns of the righteous exalted.

3rd Vision - Zechariah 2:1-13 Jerusalem, city without walls. God, wall of fire. Protector. The glory within. Savior. His people, pupil of His eye. Tender, Sensitive, Delicate, Sons and daughters. God moves. Against the enemy. And the enemy becomes plunder to their own servants. God is coming to dwell among us. Sing for joy. He is coming.

4th Vision - Zechariah 3:1-10 A burning stick Snatched from the fire... Accusations from Satan flinging to a High Priest, Joshua, in filthy clothes, standing before the Lord. "Take them off!" demands the Lord. Clothed instead with robes. From guilt to righteousness. Silence from the enemy. God will soon bring His Servant, the Branch - Jesus A stone - the cornerstone with seven eyes - roaming the earth there will be an inscription put on the stone - do you see the nail scarred hands? In a single day, takes away the guilt of the land. The Messiah is coming. Hold fast. 5th Vision - Zechariah 4:1-14 Word of the Lord. Not by strength, nor by might, But my Spirit... the Temple is built. Bring the capstone. Shouts of Grace! Day of small things. Seven eyes of the Lord. Scattered throughout the earth. Rejoice at the Planning and Preparation. The Chief Cornerstone is coming. Two olive branches, on the olive trees, pour golden oil. They are two witnesses. Anointed. Standing by the Lord of the whole earth. Bearing witness to His coming. And His return. 6th Vision - Zechariah 5:1-4 Flying scroll. Curse across the land. Thieves removed - dishonoring neighbor Those who swear falsely removed - dishonoring God. All is the sum of all sin. Curse enters their house and stays inside, until all is destroyed. 7th Vision - Zechariah 5:5-11 Measuring basket Carrying iniquity A lead cover pushed to the side Reveals a woman sitting in it Wickedness. Shoved down by the angel, showing God's authority over evil. Two women approach with wind in their wings. Used by God to pick up the basket and send it to Shinar - Babylon. It's rightful place. Wickedness and iniquity discarded FOREVER.

8th Vision - Zechariah 6:1-8 Four chariots. Roaming the Earth. Red horses - War. Black horses - Death and Famine. Spotted horses - Plagues. White horses - Victory. Be ready. Judgement is coming. God's Spirit embodies Peace. He could have saved his chosen in a second, but instead, chose to wait - almost 400 years later - for a baby to be born in a lowly manger...Jesus. The Savior was coming, and prophecy would soon be fulfilled. But for now, the Prophets were the messengers, while the people patiently waited for their King. "For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on His shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. The dominion will be vast, and its prosperity will never end. He will reign on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish and sustain it with justice and righteousness from now on and forever..." Isaiah 9:6-7

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