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Waiting for God

Does it seem like you are always waiting in line? It may not be your imagination. Some studies report that the average person spends about two years of their life waiting in line. Delays can make us feel anxious or even angry, especially when we are waiting for God.

Waiting is also the theme of the vision described in today’s passage. This is the first of eight visions which comprise almost half the book. The visions came to Zechariah during the night (v. 8). The Bible does not call them dreams even though the prophet may have been asleep. Zechariah’s inaugural vision was of a “man” on a red horse standing among myrtle trees in a ravine with three other groups of horses. According to verse 11, this “man” was the “angel of the Lord,” a figure many scholars consider to be the pre-incarnate Christ. Although the text does not say that the other horses had riders, the explanation of their mission suggests that they were mounted. Verse 9 also indicates there was another angel who interpreted the vision for Zechariah.

After being sent throughout the earth, the riders return and report that they found “the whole world at rest and in peace” (v. 11). To most people these words might sound like good news, but they meant that those who oppressed God’s people did so unchecked.

The cry of the angel of the Lord in verse 12 is often echoed in the Psalms. More than a question, it is an appeal to God for deliverance. The Lord responded with words of assurance and comfort. Although God had used the nations to discipline His people, they too would be held accountable for their sin (v. 15). Jerusalem would be restored (v. 17).

Apply the Word

We often wait for others because they are not perfect. A clerk, for example, is able to deal only with one person at a time. Our doctor may be uncertain of the right diagnosis. Waiting for God, however, is usually a matter of timing. God has not forgotten you. When the time is right, He will act according to His perfect plan.

BY Dr. John Koessler, Chair and Professor of Pastoral Studies

Dr. John Koessler serves as chair and professor in the division of applied theology and church ministry at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois. He is married to Jane and has two sons, Drew and Jarred. John is the author of The Radical Pursuit of Rest (InterVarsity), The Surprising Grace of Disappointment (Moody) and True Discipleship (Moody). John has written several other books and articles and serves as a contributing editor for Today in the Word.

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