Dear CSOPC brothers and sisters,
Moses tells us in Exodus that our LORD is ‘merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by means clear the guilty’ (Ex 34:6). What a rich description of the character of our covenant Lord. He is gracious and just. He is merciful and holy. And of course, these two facets of his character come together beautifully in the cross. For it was at the cross where God’s holiness and love kiss (Ps 85:10). God’s justice was satisfied in his wrath being poured out on sin, but his love was magnificently displayed in that his wrath was poured out on his own son – the substitute for sinners!! Rejoice today, brothers and sisters, in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.
A Few Announcements:
Tonight we continue our study in Galatians. We will meet at the Castillas at 7:00. Their address is 17531 South Summit Canyon Drive, 77095. Also, our North Houston small group will meet at the McDonald’s home at 7:00. The McDonald’s address is 200 Cherry Oak Lane, Montgomery, TX. Please join us for one of these studies!
This Saturday the men of the church will meet for our men’s breakfast at the Egg and I on Hwy 6 & Little York at 8:30AM. Come and bring a friend.
This Lord’s Day we will celebrate the Lord’s Supper, collect the deacon’s offering, and receive new members. Praise the Lord for his gracious work in the life of our body.
Also this Sunday we will enjoy a fellowship lunch following worship. We will enjoy our standard pot-luck meals. Please bring a meal, or side to share.
Finally, this week’s devotion (attached) is a reflection from Zechariah 1 on the victory of God over his enemies.
Please let me know if you have any questions!
I look forward to worshipping with all of you this Lord’s Day!
From the Pastor’s Desk
“Horns vs. Craftsmen”
Zechariah 1:18, 20, “And I lifted my eyes and saw, and behold, four horns … then the LORD showed me four craftsmen.”
The prophet Zechariah ministered to the post-exilic community in Israel. He was a contemporary of Haggai and was sent (1) to call the people of God to repentance and covenant faithfulness (1:3-6) and (2) to reveal the grand purposes of God to defend and to redeem his people. The first half of the book consists largely of a series of ‘night visions’ which describe God’s purposes for his people (1:1-8:23); and the second half of the book describes the coming of the great Messianic king as the climax of God’s redemptive purposes (9:1-14:21). This week we will consider a vision from the first part of the book, and next week we will look at a prophesy of the coming king from the second part of the book.
In the second night vision (1:18-21), Zechariah sees four horns and four craftsmen. What do the horns symbolize? Well, in answer to his question concerning the horns, “What are these,” the angel tells him, “These are the horns that have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.” In Scripture, the horn was a symbol of strength and power, whether for good or for evil (e.g. 1 Sam 2:1; Ps 18:2; 75:10; Luke 1:69). In context, however, these horns clearly symbolize the enemies of God’s people (they ‘have scattered Judah …’). The words of Daniel appear to be in the background of Zechariah’s vision. For example, the fourth beast of Daniel 7 had ten horns (7:7), one of which ‘made war with the saints and prevailed over them’ (7:21). Moreover, in Daniel 8 Daniel sees a ram and a goat with horns; both of which picture the enemies of God’s people (in fact, we are given the divine interpretation of this vision in Dan 8:15-26). Thus we are safe to conclude that the four horns of this vision symbolize the enemies of God’s people throughout redemptive-history. And furthermore, these enemy nations were the tools of God’s covenant curse on his people. Israel persisted in her disobedience, thus the Lord scattered them as he told them he would do (‘scatter’ in 1:21 is the same term as ‘scatter’ in Lev 26:33). God’s people were defeated – they were down – they were low – they could not ‘raise their head’ (v. 21).
But the vision does not end there … for “then the LORD showed me four craftsmen.” And again, in response to the prophet’s question the angel explains what these craftsmen were here to do: “And these [craftsmen] have come to terrify [the horns], to cast down the horns of the nations who lifted up their horns against the land of Judah to scatter it” (v. 21b). The number four is symbolic of universality / totality (see Zech 6:1, 5). That is, the ‘four’ horns symbolize the totality of God’s enemies; and these horns are met and cast down by the ‘four’ craftsmen, the totality of God’s power. And what do these craftsmen do? They defeat and destroy God’s enemies.
We close this study with one final thought: in looking at this vision through Christ-centered lenses (Luke 24:44) we see the mission of the craftsmen as symbolic of the mission of Christ. Christ is the one who will destroy the ultimate enemies of God and his church, namely, sin, death, and Satan (Luke 10:18; Col 2:15; Heb 2:14-15; 1 John 3:8; Rev 12:3, 7-11; 19:20; 20:10). Brothers and sisters, Christ wins the victory. He overcomes the evil one. He destroys the works of the devil. Rejoice! Rejoice in your King! He brings low those who exalt themselves against the Lord, and he raises those who humble themselves before the Lord (Gen 11:1-9; Dan 2:31-45; 4:28-37; 1 Sam 2:6-8; Acts 12:20-24)! He is the conquering King! And he fights for his people! Amen and Amen!