The Book of Zechariah - Part 4

6. The flying scroll

The sixth vision of Zechariah is about a flying scroll. In those days, people did not use books but used scrolls which can contain all the pages of a book so that its length will depend on how much is written on it. Let us read the passage:

Zech 5:1-4
1 I looked again — and there before me was a flying scroll!
2 He asked me, "What do you see?"
I answered, "I see a flying scroll, thirty feet long and fifteen feet wide."
3 And he said to me, "This is the curse that is going out over the whole land; for according to what it says on one side, every thief will be banished, and according to what it says on the other, everyone who swears falsely will be banished. 4 The LORD Almighty declares, 'I will send it out, and it will enter the house of the thief and the house of him who swears falsely by my name. It will remain in his house and destroy it, both its timbers and its stones.'"

Notice the size of the scroll. It is big, measuring 15 feet by 30 feet. It is roughly a size of a big room, indeed it is copied from a very important room. The size has a significance besides its size. The size is identical with the wall and floor sizes of the Inner Sanctuary or the Holy Place of the Holy Temple. There were two cherubs measuring 10 cubits (15 feet) each and a height of 10 cubits. Their wingtips touch the other to become 20 cubits (30 feet) in width (1 Ki 6:23-27). Behind this room is the Most Holy Place where the Ark of the Covenant was kept. Nobody is permitted to enter that room except the high priest and only once a year during the Day of Atonement. And there was a strict procedure to follow in entering the Holy of Holies, lest he dies.

Also, the writing is really not much. On one side, "Every thief will be banished" an on the other side, it reads, "Everyone who swears falsely will be banished." So to me, it is more like a banner or a billboard with a warning. Sometimes I see advertisers dragging banners by a plane so that everybody can see the message at real time. The scroll in the prophecy is flying by itself over the whole land which implies the whole earth. And according to the passage, it will enter one by one, the house of every thief and everyone who swears falsely and then destroy that house completely.

Of all the laws in the Ten Commandments, why did the prophecy single out these two sins? Why would it not simply say, "Everyone who worship idols" or "Everyone who commits adultery?" Or why not enumerate all violators of the Ten Commandments? The warning is not actually for those people in the past. This is for people of our age under the New Covenant under Jesus Christ. In our time, there is no such thing as small or big sin. We will only be judged by either we have the Son (Jesus Christ) or not (1 Jn 5:12). But it is not as simple as that. We should profess and practice what we believe in. Take note that even a simple liar can go to hell, judged as guilty as an unbeliever or a pagan (Rev 21:8). The common denominator for both is the absence of God's redemption through the blood of Jesus Christ. The kind of the sin does not really matter for if we are guilty of violating one law, we are guilty of violating the whole commandments of God (Jas 2:10-11). Test ourselves with this. Have we ever stolen or gain anything unfairly? Are we honest enough not to claim what is not ours? Taking away from somebody regardless of value makes us as guilty as a robber who steals a million dollars from a bank. Or how often do we say yes even if we really mean no? Sometimes our words are so cheap that we don't pay anymore attention to what we say. We break our promises or lie so many times in complete disregard to integrity. Remember that words are very powerful so that all things were created by means of a spoken words. Jesus Christ, the Word told us to simply say yes or no and do not swear under any name (Matt 5:33-37). Our seemingly "minor sins" are actually the image of our spiritual condition. We need a complete transformation that only the blood of Jesus Christ can bring. Yes, Christians do still sin but the difference is, believers sin not as a practice but there is an anguish and sincere repentance after each sin that we ask forgiveness from God who is very merciful to forgive us. But this process did not come easy under the Mosaic Law since the Holy Spirit was not yet available to everyone. That's the reason why Jesus Christ came and sacrificed Himself to change things for a better towards a more successful godly life. It is impossible to become godly or holy on our own but for God, all things are possible (Matt 19:26). He did not come though to destroy the law but to fulfill it (Matt 5:17) for there is a more powerful law that should govern us all-- the Law of Love, for God and for our neighbour (Matt 22:37-40). For if we love God and our neighbour in the same way as we love ourselves, we will live our lives to please all. That is how we will be able to fulfill the laws and transform our lives through God's Holy Spirit who empowers us.

So the prophecy is actually warning us that everyone who does not have the Son will be destroyed. The "house" in the prophecy represents the guilty person. It is not the material house that is destroyed but it is both the created body and soul that will be burned in hell. Under the New Covenant, there is no more physical Temple but every person is the new Temple of the Holy Spirit. The whole prophecy is summed up in Paul's letter to the Corinthians:

1 Cor 3:16-17
16 Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? 17 If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple.

We all therefore resemble the Holy Temple built by King Solomon housing the Inner Sanctuary and the Holy of Holies in our bodies. That's the message of the size of the scroll is all about. A person who rejects Jesus Christ is actually destroying his own body and soul. The message is clear, "It [scroll with written sins] will remain in his house and destroy it, both its timbers and its stones" that it pertains to a person living in sin will eventually die. Let us reckon together and take this warning seriously.

Our world today is overwhelmed with everything but good since the god of this world, the Devil, is doing everything he can to deceive everyone. It is very easy for a person to get lost in the evil maze our civilization has created simply to satisfy man's pleasures. Once a person is trapped in a maze, it is often hard to get out. That is why spiritual need is the last thing a person is willing to listen to. A person can choose his beliefs but it will not change the fact that there is a God and we should live in accordance to His will. One's religious inclination can not also change the will of God that will triumph in the end, that He will judge everyone according to how we live. He has given us, on average sixty years to choose between the two paths. It is either to destruction or to eternal glory. And if we have chosen the right path, our sixty of seventy years on earth will become an eternity with Him in Heaven. Despite the technological advances of man, he has failed to satisfy our basic needs. So many nations are in hunger, and many others are in war, homeless or orphans. Often the wealthiest nation suffers most with economic downturns. God allows sufferings to happen so as to put men on their knees and seek God for salvation because it is in weakness that His power is made perfect. But let us draw near to God even in our strength and triumph and praise Him for His goodness. He is a perfect and loving God. Let us invite Jesus to live in His new Temple which is our bodies and let Him control our lives.

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