A complex book of wild visions for important times, when Israel was returning to their land after exile and being influenced by Assyrian or Persian culture.
But barely contained to that context, with many scenes familiar from Christ’s story, and some that are still mysterious about the role of the Jews and the apocalypse.
I took from it how precious God’s love is, despite its abundance. The cost of it.
How God calls us, moves history around us.
The terror and grace of the days of the Lord, the days when his plans become unavoidable.
The small things we do now can help shake the foundations of the universe.
1 The harsh world that exiled Israel is no more. Persia has replaced Assyria, and the world is at peace, Israel’s turn to benefit.
2 a dream of measuring the actual and future Jerusalem of God’s promises. In God’s plan and timing will come restoration for Israel, retribution for their oppressors, and ultimately a promise of saying grace for all nations.
3 More dreams. Forgiveness: high priests dirty clothes replaced with clean. Salvation: Israel as a burning stick grabbed from the fire, portents of a future greater salvation for all.
4 A dream of the first stones of the temple. Small things can become earth shakers
5 A woman in a flying basket, a flying scroll.. a dream of purification of Israel from Persian culture ready to be God’s people again
6 Four horsemen announce God’s control rather than the chaos of revelation. A vision of the king and priest turns messianic as two branches of a tree become one figure
7 the people want to return to rituals low fasting to please God, but he asks them rather to live lives of genuine mercy and compassion instead.
8 A promise that God’s favour will make the Jews the most loved people in the planet …fullfilled in us? No place for apologies or negativity, we are the blessed
9 Predictions of the near and far future, wars with Greece and the Messiah on a donkey, framed by the might of Jehovah in lightning and thunder, judging and blessing all nations
10 Once were lost, now are found, a song of love for the two kingdoms of Israel in God’s first person voice. A promise to heal the split.
11 God as shepherd of Israel, two staffs, favour and union, were broken. They sold their blessing for silver. God speaks to himself is their salvation: being the Trinity here, Messiah is part of the conversation.
12 The day of the Lord, Jews miserably aware of how much they need forgiveness: they pierced the side of the Messiah (!?). Also the envy and the stumbling block of the world. It’s us, believers. Now it’s the day of the Lord.
13 More day of the Lord. Judgement will consume two thirds, and push the surviving third to the limit. I get survivor guilt for my cheap grace.
14 An apocalyptic battle. Is it Calvary? The end of Time? I take from it lessons about the pain and value of grace, and that even the worst day is still a day of the Lord.