The Rider on the Red Horse ( Zechariah 1:7-11)
7 On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, the month of Shebat, in the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Zechariah son of Berekiah, the son of Iddo.
8 During the night I had a vision, and there before me was a man mounted on a red horse. He was standing among the myrtle trees in a ravine. Behind him were red, brown and white horses.
9 I asked, “What are these, my lord?”
The angel who was talking with me answered, “I will show you what they are.”
10 Then the man standing among the myrtle trees explained, “They are the ones the Lord has sent to go throughout the earth.”
11 And they reported to the angel of the Lord who was standing among the myrtle trees, “We have gone throughout the earth and found the whole world at rest and in peace.”
In the Christian life, understanding the Scripture rightly is very important for it is channel of the vivid grace of God. So we have to learn the stream of the Scripture as the redemptive history very well. As the diagnosis of the oriental medicine when we observe any part of the Scripture, we have to feel that stream of the strong points or, the weak points. The fact is needed for interpreting the Prophet book more sensitively.
Among 7 visions in the book of Zechariah, we observe the first vision now in order to know the stream of the redemptive history. If you understand this vision well, we can know the main key to interpret the symbolism in the Scripture.
Read verse 1:8. “8 During the night I had a vision, and there before me was a man mounted on a red horse. He was standing among the myrtle trees in a ravine. Behind him were red, brown and white horses.”
Here, we can point three feature in a vision, those are, the rider on the red horse, the valley and the myrtle tree. What do you think of them?
Actually, his vision reveals the important element of the redemptive history. What are they? First of all, we have to understand that the visions of the scriptures are the channel of the revelation to know the truth, Christ.
This is a method that made His people understood Christ. So we have to learn to interpret the vision very well biblically. If we cannot handle that symbol, we can fall down into the false teaching as a heresy. How can we interpret the symbolism, the picture revelation? Let’s examine the example in the first vision to understand biblical interpretation of symbolisms.
First, Who is the rider on the red horse?
- The Red horse is the substitution horse, because he activated and he controlled on the activation of other horses, another red, brown and white, “Behind him were red, brown and white horses.”
And verses 10-11 says “ 10 Then the man standing among the myrtle trees explained, “They are the ones the Lord has sent to go throughout the earth.” 11 And they reported to the angel of the Lord who was standing among the myrtle trees, “We have gone throughout the earth and found the whole world at rest and in peace.”
Actually What does they mean?
The riding action means the victory (Revelation 6:1-2) “ I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!”2 I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.
The Rider points to the supernatural person,
the man – verse 8 says He was standing among the myrtle trees in a ravine.
Verses 10-11 says the man = the angel of Jehovah, He is the
special angel in the Old Testament as pre incarnated Christ.
Why did he stand up in the valley for the redemption of his people.
As we know that Christ completed the redemption on the cross 2000 years ago.
= He is the angel of Jehovah. He is pre incarnated Christ. The symbol points the real meaning of Zechariah’s vision that he saw, Christ in the New Testament revealed in the earth 700 years later. Now the prophet saw the redeemer who accomplished all salvation wonderfully in the power of Holy Spirit. Hebrew1:3 says “3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. “ Where is Jesus? He sat down on the right hand of the throne.
So his vision reveals the glorious reality in our salvation. When we touch that picture, we can see the redemptive historical grace promised to us. Already we have understood it and now abide in the abundant grace in Christ.
As we know, we find the same contents in the several events, the creation, the exodus and the settlement of Israel in Canaan belongs to the grace
Look at Gen1:2. “the Spirit of God is the spirit of Christ and revealed the reality of the redemption to us, which was controlled the presence of God, immanuel. So Paul pointed that the Lord is the Spirit.(II Corinthian3:17 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.) After we received the gospel we immediately approached to the presence place, Christ. (Mt 28: 19-20) (I Cor. 5:1717 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here!)
And also the Exodus reveals that more important event, the presence of God on the Mt. Sinai, the tabernacle and the supernatural miracles in the wilderness. – these symbols point the presence of God, theophany( Pillar of the fire and the cloud) that Pre Christ had controlled.
And also the occupying of Canaan points this reality. True Canaan is not the honey and the milk but the presence of God, Immanuel in Christ. The settlers received the rest out of all the direction, that is, God, Christ.
As we related these events to the Zechariah vision, we now see the presence of God in the vision of redemption, salvation, atonement. The Lord wanted to encourage the frustrated Israel by revealing the abundant redemptive glory to them. Today when we are frustrated in our personal sin and in our bad condition, we need to see the Christ.(Jn1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.) the glory of begotten son, the grace and the truth, as the prophet saw.
Where is our true comfort? Only Jesus Christ, the rider on the red horse.
Second we can see the another point. It is the valley scene.
The rider stood up in the valley, gland, or, in a ravine. What does it mean? To know that meaning we have to understand the terminological meaning of the word. It mesula means the deep. The valley is deep. Ex: America has many deep valley. Some deep valley need elevator or, helicopter because of the dangerous state. Biblically the deep.11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. points God’s judgment, the destruction, the sin and the darkness, Zechariah saw the sin and the condemnation in the same vision. Actually the deep reveals in several revelation again.
Genesis 1:2 before creation what is the original state? It was deep, chaos, darkness etc. It points the sin and the curse. The deep reveals the hell as the hall without bottom in Revelation chapter. Then why Zechariah see the scene of mixture of victory and destruction in a vision? It emphasized the redemption. As the white color was revealed more obviously on the black board. The redemption revealed on the background of the darkness, the sin, the curse, the hell, the death as the creation was begun in the background of chaos, deep darkness.
This deep again reveals in the Noah flood event. The event points the wonderful salvation out of sin and the absolute curse. So Gen.8:1-2 says “ But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.2 Now the springs of the deep and the floodgates of the heavens had been closed, and the rain had stopped falling from the sky.3 The water receded steadily from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the water had gone down,” the flood was called for deep.
- And also the deep again in the event of Exodus event. Miriam sang a song as the Israeite was saved from the deep red sea. As these examples did, the deep in the vision proclaimed the wonderful salvation obviously to us. Zechariah saw that marvelous redemption. (Ex15:5 “Pharaoh’s chariots and his army he has hurled into the sea. The best of Pharaoh’s officers are drowned in the Red Sea.5 The deep waters have covered them; they sank to the depths like a stone.)
In summary, the savior is the angel of Jehovah, Christ. And the background of salvation is the absolute destruction. So we admit that total depravity in our salvation. True salvation have to understand two things, those are; glorious salvation and the absolute death. This is the true salvation face. Therefore we should check up our Christian life as the experience of Isaiah 6:5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”
Third, and also the prophet observes the myrtle tree that the angel stood up among.
1) What does it mean? The myrtle points the presence of God as Eden’s glory. When Christ descended on the place the presence be with him even though it was absolute deep darkness, his presence rules over that place. It points the work of the Holy Spirit. Light, freedom, hope, and the changing state. When the Spirit works in any time, any place, we can get the wonderful presence, the eternal life and the spiritual grace and the heavenly abundance. This is our redemption, our recreation, Zechariah saw the redemption and the glory of the salvation. Do you see the redemption?
2)Lord’s transfiguration event reveals the glorious redemption. Even though Christ works the mountain areas was changed by the Holy Spirit, then Peter confessed “ I stay here.” Why? Because he saw the glory of the redemption.
Today the same event is ours. we saw the Zechariah vision that pointed true redemption and the glory.
In our school life, we need that same experience to you, We should confess automatically to stay here I love so much.”
We have to see the vision. We have to know the meaning in your lives. Then, we know the true comfort, true savior, true salvation.