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Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 41 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 11: Visions of Hope *
Introduction: Zechariah is a fabulously interesting book! It is
filled with symbols, complexity and great news about the gospel! We
will spend this week and the next unraveling the stories that give us
confidence in our Messiah and the message of salvation by grace
alone. Let's plunge into our study to discover the lessons God has
for us in the first half of the book of Zechariah!
- Read Zechariah 1:1-4. What is God's historic call to His
people? (To repent from evil and turn to God.)
- Read Zechariah 1:5. What happens to those who do not
repent? Do we have forever to decide? (God says the
opportunity to turn to Him is a limited time offer -
limited by your life!)
- Read Zechariah 1:6. How did it turn out for God's people?
(Ultimately, at least some of them got the message,
accepted God's rebuke, acknowledged God's justice, and
repented of their sins.)
- The Horse Vision
- Read Zechariah 1:7-8. How many colors of horses do we
have? (Three: red, brown and white.)
- Read Zechariah 1:9-11. Who are these multi-colored horses
(or humans riding multi-colored horses)? (They are God's
- Why do you think they are multi-colored? (This shows
diversity among God's people.)
- To whom do they report? (The angel of God.)
- What is the report? (The world is at rest and
- Good news, right! We have what every beauty
pageant contestant wants: world peace.
- Read Zechariah 1:12-13. Is the angel challenging God? Is
the angel questioning God's judgment?
- If so, how does God react? (It sounds like the angel
is challenging God. God's response is "kind and
- What is the lesson for us when we are challenging or
questioning what God done?
- Read Zechariah 1:14-17. Was it good to question God? (It
looks like it moved God to action! God explains that He
was "jealous" that His people were not relying on Him.)
- Why would reports of world peace make God "very
angry?" (These are people who do not rely on God at
all. Why should they feel secure when they rely only
- Why would a loving God be unhappy about world
peace and rest? (It tends to deprive the people
of a motive to find real peace - the kind that
only God can give.)
- What do we learn from this? (That peace in your
life is not the highest goal. Reliance on God
is the true goal.)
- Horse Vision Sequel
- Read Zechariah 6:1-3. What do we see that is the same as
the first horse vision? (Multi-colored horses.)
- What is different in the sequel? (We have more
colors. Plus, these are not just horses, they are
horses hitched to chariots.)
- Read Zechariah 6:4. Does Zechariah think this is different
from the first horse vision? (Yes, he does not understand
- Read Zechariah 6:5-7. Last week we noted the Hebrew word
"ruwach," which means spirit. What is God's Spirit doing?
(The Spirit of God is going throughout the earth in
- Is this easy? (Verse seven says they are
- Let's take stock. God is unhappy with world peace and
He sends into the world powerful horses with chariots
(a state of the art weapon of war). Why? What do you
think is God's goal? (If we are correct in thinking
that God's goal is to get pagans to rely on Him, then
the mission is the conversion of the world. God wants
the entire world to rely on Him.)
- Flying Scroll
- Let's go back a chapter. I wanted to discuss the two
horse visions together. Read Zechariah 5:1-2. Do we need
an air traffic controller? We have flying horses with
chariots and now a flying scroll! We might have to sound a
- Read Zechariah 5:3-4. The scroll is a curse, according to
the text. Would it destroy peace and rest? If so, why?
(The text says the writing will destroy the houses of
thieves and liars. Do you see a picture forming in your
mind? God is unhappy with the world because it is at peace
with its sins. God wants the world to turn to Him,
therefore He puts His law in the sky and flies it into the
homes of sinners!)
- What does this say to those who believe in
righteousness by faith? (We need to draw some very
precise lines on what God desires of us. Believing
that we are saved by grace alone is not the same as
tolerating sin. It is our consciousness of our sin
that drives us to grace. We should not think it is
loving to hide the "scroll" that drives us (and
others) to repentance and grace! We should not hide
the scroll that changes us from relying on self to
relying on God.)
- Read Zechariah 3:1-2. We have a trial scene. Joshua is
"standing before," God. Who does Joshua represent; just
himself? (No. On the Day of Atonement, the High Priest
represented the people. Symbolically, God's people are on
trial before God.)
- Who brings the charges against Joshua? Have you ever
thought that God is the One accusing you of sin? Who
is the accuser here? (Satan. Revelation 12:10 tells
us that Satan accuses us before God.)
- We discussed the role of the Holy Spirit living
in us and leading us daily. We've discussed how
the Holy Spirit can speak to us through our
conscience. How can we distinguish between the
Holy Spirit leading us and Satan accusing us?
- Who is our defender? (God. He rebukes Satan.)
- Read Zechariah 3:3-4. Are God's people sinful? (Yes. The
filthy clothes represent their sins.)
- How are Joshua and the people made righteous? (God
takes away their sins. God gives them "rich
- Read Zechariah 3:5. What do you think this symbolizes?
(The turban covers the head. God is covering the mind with
righteousness, renewing a right spirit in His people. See
- Read Zechariah 3:6-7. What command does God give His
people? (To obey and enjoy the blessings that follow.)
- Notice the order of things. Do the people obey to
become righteous? Or does God make them righteous by
His grace and then tell them to obey?
- Read Zechariah 3:8-9. What does all of this symbolize? Who
is the "Branch?" (Read Jeremiah 23:5-6. The Branch is
Jesus. Jesus modifies this symbolism slightly in John
15:5. The consistent picture is that Jesus is our
connection to God.)
- Put these last few verses together. What is the message
here? (The salvation of Joshua is a promise of the
salvation through Jesus! Satan rightly accuses us of sin.
Jesus takes away our sin and gives us the robe of His
- Let's get back to a question I asked earlier. How do
we tell the difference between the nudging of the
Holy Spirit and the accusations of Satan and his
fallen angels? (If Jesus has forgiven your sins, then
the accuser is Satan. The Holy Spirit guides us to
right choices, Satan beats us up over past sins. We
should be able to tell the difference and ignore
- Holy Spirit Power
- Read Zechariah 4:1-4. Do you have an answer for Zechariah?
What role do you think the two olive trees play? (They are
the source of the oil which gives light.)
- Read Zechariah 4:5-6. What is God teaching us by this
illustration of the trees, the oil and the lamp stand? (In
other places in the Bible oil symbolizes the Holy Spirit.
See, e.g., 2 Corinthians 1:21-22, Matthew 25:1-13. God
will deliver us, He will bring light into our lives by His
Spirit. Might and power are not the answer. Holy Spirit
power is the answer.)
- Read Zechariah 4:7. What is a mountain? (An obstacle.)
- What "mountains" do you have in your life? What is
the answer to dealing with them? Might or power?
(No! "Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit
says the Lord Almighty.")
- Friend, will you be God's horse? Will you challenge the
peace of pagans with your radical message of forgiveness,
grace, obedience and mountain moving power through the
Holy Spirit! Why not make that commitment today? It is a
limited time offer!
- Next week: Heaven's Best Gift (Zechariah).
* Copr. 2013, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.