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The Lord’s Army

Society may be getting more secular, but angels have nothing to fear from this trend. A majority of Americans believes that angels exist. According to one poll, 88 percent of Christians, 95 percent of evangelicals, and even a majority of those who consider themselves to be non-religious believe in angels.

Today’s passage features what might be called an angel army. In his eighth vision, Zechariah saw four chariots drawn by horses. The chariots were positioned between “two mountains of bronze” as the horses strained against their reins (v. 1). The mountains are not identified. Some scholars speculate that they represent Mount Moriah and the Mount of Olives. However, the description seems to emphasize their nature rather than their location. The chief characteristic of bronze is strength or hardness. Bronze was used in biblical times to make weapons and shields (1 Sam. 17:5–6; 2 Sam. 22:35).

The chariots were drawn by horses of various colors. There is a similar scene in Revelation 6, where four riders are sent out on horses of various colors. When Zechariah asks the meaning of his vision, the interpreting angel tells him: “These are the four spirits of heaven, going out from standing in the presence of the Lord of the whole world” (v. 5). They are angelic beings sent from God’s to patrol the earth.

The chariot drawn by black horses was sent north to Babylon. Although the NIV translation says the chariot drawn by white horses went toward the west, many scholars think that in Hebrew it means they went after the black horses. The chariot drawn by dappled horses went south towards Egypt. The command of verse 7 could mean that the chariot drawn by red horses roamed throughout the earth.

Apply the Word

Zechariah’s vision is an encouraging reminder of God’s power and involvement in our world. Although we cannot always see what He is doing, God is moving to further His plans. Bring before Him today your concerns about the world, whether big or small. Ask Him to open your eyes to see how He is shaping your circumstances today.

BY Dr. John Koessler

Dr. John Koessler, who retired as professor emeritus from Moody Bible Institute, formerly served in the division of applied theology and church ministry. John and his wife Jane enjoy living in a lakeside town in Michigan. A prolific writer, John’s books include Dangerous Virtues: How to Follow Jesus When Evil Masquerades as Good (Moody Publishers), The Radical Pursuit of Rest (InterVarsity), The Surprising Grace of Disappointment (Moody), and True Discipleship (Moody). John is a contributing editor and columnist for Today in the Word.

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