“Number 8 is a stunning offering of surrealist influenced psychic automatism commenting on the malaise of Western modernity.”
Do you understand that sentence? I don’t. And I wrote it. I wrote it combining some internet gleaned tidbits and vocabulary of my own as a spoof to illustrate the point of this post. Now we can observe that Jackson Pollock’s Number 8 is more than “surrealist influenced,” it has become an equally impressive “blog illustrating.”
Modern art can be, how to put it—intriguing—to most of us. We look at works like the one above and think, “What does it mean?” Artsy types tell us, “If we have to ask what it means, then you wouldn’t understand anyhow.” Translation: “I don’t know either; I just think it’s fun to pretend as if I posses greater acuity than you. Besides, the dude splattered paint around and got paid for it. Cool! ”
Reading through Zechariah you may feel like you are looking at modern art. An angel guiding the prophet through Oracles (visions). And these visions are at best odd and sometimes just pure confusing. But unlike modern art, the prophecies of Zechariah do have real, eternal value. God Himself spoke through Zechariah using symbolism and imagery with great depth of meaning. We can not unpack it all herein, but please do read Zechariah prayerfully and find out for yourself.
No other book of the Old Testament contains so much prophecy in such a short space. Zechariah prophesies of the reign, kingship, priesthood, humanity, deity, lowly origin, rejection for 30 pieces of silver, and piercing by a sword of Jesus. He make pronouncements of Israel and other nations as well. Zechariah, not unlike the painting above, is rich with layers and meaning.
Zechariah 1:1 tells us he the first six verses are from October/November 520 BC just after work restarted on the Temple (Haggai 1:14-15). Zechariah 1:7 is specific to February 15, 519 BC and includes the Oracles of a hopeful future for God’s people. Let’s look a little more closely at those first six verses—A Call to Repentance.
“God was rough on your ancestors,” Zechariah begins, “and they deserved it. But you have a chance to come back to God. Sovereign, eternal God promises He will restore you and deliver you.” And not to be stumped like we’re looking at abstract, modern art, we ask, “But how do I come back to you God?”
“Turn from your evil ways and your evil practices,” God replies in 1:4. Listen. Obey. Repent. That is what God asks. Not abstract. Not easy.
God tells us throughout the remainder of the Book of Zechariah just how he will deliver His people, Israel, in 519 BC and His people, all Christ followers of all ages, in His Sovereign plan.
What do you need God to deliver you from?
Are you fully obeying everything He has already revealed to you?
What can you learn from Zechariah?
This post is the eleventh in our series, Major Stuff from the Minor Prophets. Feel free to comment or share this post using the tools below or subscribe to this site via email above right.