Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Flying Carpets and Things God Might Throw at You - Zechariah 5:1-4

The Minor Prophets Speak to Today 




Two Cursed Activities

Flying Carpets or God Throwing Things

In the writings of the Middle East, flying rugs, flying genies, flying angels, and flying scrolls populate literary skies. God communicates with Zechariah through a vision of a flying scroll. Is it literal? Is it literary? Both questions are irrelevant. If God sends physical flying scrolls, so what. That's better than getting hit by a flying book. Or, even more up-to-date, a computer sent flying through the air. Only the message received counts. God can send a message anyway he wants. He can use any instrument, literary or literal, to get our attention.

Personally, how about a flying carpet where I can sail along with Jesus as he delivers a message face to face.

No wonder God declines to let humans' imaginations dictate his methods of communication. One of my favorite images: A hand lifts off the top off the skull while dropping a message inside.

 I looked up again and saw a scroll flying through the air.
 “What do you see?” the angel asked.
“I see a flying scroll,” I replied. 
“It appears to be about 30 feet long and 15 feet wide."

That's one big piece of sheepskin paper!
Must be one big, paramount message.

The Message on the Flying Scroll

“This scroll contains the curse that is going out over the entire land. One side of the scroll says that those who steal will be banished from the land; the other side says that those who swear falsely will be banished from the land."

One - Two - Three.

A simple message.

One:  This is a blanket message that applies everywhere not to just one individual. But, this curse is not all encompassing. It applies only to the two classes of people targeted. The two groups described: one on one side of the parchment and a second on the other side. Two targets of equal standing. Two groups equally guilty and judged.

God is not forever patient. He will pronounce a curse and it will fulfill its course.

Two:  Side One:  If you steal, you will be banished from the land.

God does not specify classes of theft. If you steal a pencil from the office, you will be banished. If you steal the rightful wages of a worker - wages that allow the employee to sustain life holistically - you will be banished. If you steal the profits from a person's investment, you will be banished. Some such thieves already know this and have plans to leave on their own. They are afraid that if they don't if a rebellion erupts they will be slaughtered. Those who steal physically, economically, emotionally, mentally, socially, money, things, peace, love, safety, sanity, spiritually will be banished.

Wherever the scroll flies, whatever land it covers, even the whole earth, those who steal (God's definition not your self-serving definition) will be banished. America beware! All lands and countries beware! God will cast you out!

        Side Two:   If you swear falsely, you will be banished from the land.

 Malachi 3:5 says:

“At that time I will put you on trial. I am eager to witness against all sorcerers and adulterers and liars. I will speak against those who cheat employees of their wages, who oppress widows and orphans, or who deprive the foreigners living among you of justice, for these people do not fear me,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

Revelation 21:8 adds:

“But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”  

Though in one prominent religion lies are acceptable if they serve the greater good, for people of the Book the message is plain. It need no explanation. 

Three:   And in case you missed the message, God gives the credentials of the curse maker. God clarifies who he is speaking to. And God dictates how this curse comes and works - what to be banished entails.

And this is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: I am sending this curse into the house of every thief and into the house of everyone who swears falsely using my name. And my curse will remain in that house and completely destroy it—even its timbers and stones.”

The one who has recorded the curse is God himself, the Lord of Heaven's Armies.

He personally is sending the curse into the house of every thief of every kind.

He personally sends the curse into the house of every person who swears falsely using his name.

Christian watch your tongue.

You who live by God's righteousness grieve for the liars, deceivers, and all others around you who falsely use God's name to justify themselves or their position.

The newspapers, television, and internet news make me cringe.

The curse will remain.   The action start when the curse stops floating around. God sends it directly into every house where the thieves live. He sends it into every house where a person who swears falsely lives. Perhaps one is just the flip side of the other.

God help the innocent who also live there for the curse will stay there. Becomes a cancer there. Never leaves there until that house and all it stands for is completely ruined. Destroying even the wood and stone the building is made of as it destroys the household itself.

It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Hebrews 10:31

Photo Credits:
scrolls  by H some rights reserved
Eagle Creek Falling Down by Wayne Anson, used by permission, all rights reserved.

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