ASK יהוה FOR RAIN! - Zechariah 10

28th of the 3rd month 2016/2017

Shabbat Shalom all,

Ya’aqoḇ/James 5:7-8So, brothers, be patient until the coming of the Master. See, the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. 8 You too, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Master has drawn near.

We are to have our hearts established in the Master and be patient until His soon coming return as we possess our lives by endurance and guard the called for set-apartness that befits the House of Elohim, which we are!

In Scripture we find many parables that speak to us through the pictures of harvesting crops and the necessary rains that are required. Understanding many of the clear parables of our Master we are able to recognise the urgency we are to have in pursuing apartness as we hold fast to the hope of seeing our Master face to face! In our pursuit of set-apartness we need to pursue to know יהוה:

Hoshěa/Hosea 6:3So let us know, let us pursue to know יהוה. His going forth is as certain as the morning. And He comes to us like the rain, like the latter rain watering the earth.

The root word for ‘pursue’ is רָדַף raḏaph – Strong’s H7291 and carries the meaning, to pursue, chase, follow closely after, aim to secure, run after, hunt, persecute and in the context of pursuing and running after, we note that it is after apartness that we are to be pursuing by righteousness and not anything else. If one is truly pursuing something then the focus of the pursuit is so intense on that which is being pursued that there can be no effort spared for anything else! This word gives us the picture of running, and in Scripture we are clearly told how we shall know that we know Elohim:

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:3-5And by this we know that we know Him, if we guard His commands. 4 The one who says, “I know Him,” and does not guard His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever guards His Word, truly the love of Elohim has been perfected in him.

To know Him is to guard His commands, and guarding is a continual action that must be done each and every day through a proper pursuit as pictured by running, as Dawiḏ makes it clear how he runs, in:

Tehillah/Psalm 119:32 “I run the way of Your commands, for You enlarge my heart.

We are able to faithfully pursue our Master and Elohim because we know, as Hoshěa tells us, that His going forth is as certain and the morning and He comes to us like the rain, like the latter rain watering the earth!

Rain is an extremely important for crops to grow and without it there can be no harvest! In Hoshěa/Hosea 6:3 the Hebrew word that is translated as ‘latter rain’ is מַלְקוֹשׁ malqosh – Strong’s H4456 which means, latter rain, spring rain and are understood as being the rains that come in late Spring in order to strengthen and mature the crops. This word comes from the root verb לָקַשׁ laqash – Strong’s H3953 which means, to take the second crop, to take everything, to glean the harvest. The latter rain is also a promise of provision and blessing that is given for obedience:

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 11:13-14And it shall be that if you diligently obey My commands which I command you today, to love יהוה your Elohim and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your being, 14 then I shall give you the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, and you shall gather in your grain, and your new wine, and your oil.

If His commands were guarded then יהוה would send both the EARLY rain and the LATTER rain!

The Hebrew word for ‘early rain is the word יוֹרֶה yoreh – Strong’s H3138 which is the active participle of the word יָרָה yarah – Strong’s H3384 which means, to throw or shoot, direct, instruct, teach, teacher. The Hebrew word יוֹרֶה yoreh – Strong’s H3138 is translated as ‘watering’ in Hoshěa/Hosea 6:3. The early and latter rains are a frequent theme we see be repeated throughout Scripture and teaches us that without the early and latter rains there can be no harvest! What we recognise from the early and latter rain is that with the first coming of Messiah we can recognise that He came to ‘teach and instruct’ us and with His second coming, ‘as the latter rain’, He is coming to take up a harvest of souls – He is coming to reap, and He is coming on the clouds!!!

Yo’ĕl/Joel 2:23And you children of Tsiyon, be glad and rejoice in יהוה your Elohim, for He shall give you the Teacher of Righteousness, and cause the rain to come down for you, the former rain and the latter rain, as before.

The word used for both ‘teacher’ and ‘former rain’ is the word מוֹרֶה moreh – Strong’s H4175 which means both, teacher and rain and comes from the word יָרָה  yarah – Strong’s H3384 from which we get the term ‘early rain’.

Ok, so I have highlighted the clear picture of rain and the early and later rains which are both essential for a strong and mature harvest. It is with this is mind that I want to us to consider the need for us to understand how important יהוה’s rain is for us, and when I say that I mean, His teaching and instruction; for without it we are not able to be made strong and mature in יהושע Messiah, who is both our Teacher of righteousness and the ‘gatherer of the after crop’!

In a message tonight called, ‘ASK יהוה FOR RAIN!’ I want us to look at a passage that should encourage us in this regard!

Please turn with me to Zeḵaryah/Zechariah 10 (read)

Zeḵaryah prophesied in the days of Ezra at the time of the return of the House of Yehuḏah from Baḇelonian captivity. When the elders and people listened to both his and Ḥaggai’s prophecies they prospered and successfully completed the reconstruction of the Temple. Despite being terrorised by their enemies they were encouraged to build according to the clear prophecies and instructions of Elohim as they raised a shout of victory and were convinced that their enemies were not a threat and so earnestly worked to rebuild what was broken down, without stopping for a day! There are many vital lessons to be learnt from the accounts we have been given to us in Scripture in order to teach us, equip us, reprove us and mature us. This book of Zeḵaryah is a powerful book of encouragement, along with a clear warning for those who refuse to be encouraged to pursue יהוה and seek set-apartness and walk in obedience!

In verse 1 we see the clear call that is given, which is to ask יהוה for rain in the time of the latter rain! The reason we are to ask יהוה is for the simple reason that He is the One who makes the clouds and rain and there is no other! This is a fundamental lesson that many fail to acknowledge, as seeking rain from another is futility and wicked!

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘ask’ comes from the root verb שָׁאַל sha’al – Strong’s H7592 which means, to ask, inquire, request, seek and here the instruction is given to ask יהוה for ‘rain’ in the time of the ‘latter rain’! The Hebrew word used for ‘rain’ is מָטָר matar – Strong’s H4306 which means, rain, downpour and the Hebrew word for ‘latter rain’ is מַלְקוֹשׁ malqosh – Strong’s H4456 as already discussed. The clear instruction that is given here in Zeḵaryah is a powerful parable that is used to highlight the necessity of asking for יהוה’s proper teaching to come down in the season of showers that are used to strengthen and mature the crops. This word used here for ‘rain’ - מָטָר matar – Strong’s H4306 – is also found in the Song of Mosheh:

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 32:1-2Give ear, O heavens, and let me speak; And hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. 2 “Let my instruction fall as rain, My speech drop down as dew, As fine rain on the tender plants, And as showers on the grass.

When we understand the clear terminology being used here in this song of Mosheh, we are able to connect this with other prophetic shadow pictures of the two comings of Messiah that is clearly being spoken of here. The instructions of יהוה shall come down like rain – in other words – the ‘Teacher of righteousness’ will come down like rain in the season of the harvests!

The root word translated as ‘instruction’ is לֶקַח leqaḥ – Strong’s H3948 which means, a learning, teaching, instruction, persuasions, and comes from the root verb לָקַח laqaḥ - Strong’s H3947 which carries the meaning, take, fetch, lay hold of, seize, snatch away, take away, lead. This is a powerful picture for us in recognising how it is by the instructions of יהוה that we are equipped and prepared for Him to come and fetch us as a ready Bride. לָקַח laqaḥ is also translated or understood as being ‘married’, in the sense of a Husband ‘taking up’ His Bride:

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 24:1When a man takes a wife and shall marry her, then it shall be, if she finds no favour in his eyes because he has found a matter of uncoveredness in her, and he shall write her a certificate of divorce, and put it in her hand, and send her out of his house

The Hebrew root word translated as ‘speech’ is אִמְרָה imrah – Strong’s H565 and means, utterance, speech, command, and this word is predominantly used in Scripture in reference to the Word of יהוה:

Tehillah/Psalm 12:6 “The Words of יהוה are clean Words, silver tried in a furnace of earth, refined seven times.

Asking יהוה for His rain is a true seeking for His instructions and commands to be that which washes, nourishes, strengthens and matures us, for without His Word we cannot be refined or matured and made ready for His soon return. As I already mentioned from Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 11:13-14, the blessing of diligently obeying the commands of Elohim and serving Him with our all is that He will give us rain in its season! Let us look at what it continues to say in regarding to disobedience:

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 11:16-17 “‘Guard yourselves, lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other mighty ones and bow down to them. 17 ‘Then the displeasure of יהוה shall burn against you, and He shall shut up the heavens, and there be no rain, and the land not give its increase. And you shall perish quickly from the good land which יהוה is giving you.

Disobedience will shut up the heavens and there will be no rain! We need rain! And when we see the call to ask יהוה for rain being given here we are able to see why! Because nobody was seeking יהוה! The people were seeking everything but יהוה and here Zeḵaryah makes it abundantly clear that all that they had been seeking was false and in vain!

Remember how Ěliyahu prayed that it would not rain and it did not rain for three and a half years and then he prayed again and the heaven gave rain, and the land brought forth its fruit! He prayed and the rain was stopped for 3 ½ years!

This was due to the wicked depravity of idolatry. When he did pray again and the rain came, it was on the day that the Ba’al prophets were killed and Ěliyahu outran the chariot of Aḥaḇ.

This is a powerful prophetic picture of how the rain of יהוה is coming again, and those who are running in the way of the commands of Elohim will be received by our Husband while those who are not and have been stubborn shall be destroyed because of their falsehood!

In verse 2 we are able to see the vanity of idolatry, witchcraft and false teachings; as they do not nourish, cleanse, strengthen or mature, for only the rain of יהוה can!

Here we see that the household idols spoke emptiness and the diviners saw falsehood, related dreams of deceit and comforted people in vain! This is the result of people not seeking יהוה as they should as they end up seeking anything that will sooth their ears, which opens up a whole host of falsehood and deceit to be vainly accepted and received in error!

Pretty much a vivid picture of what we see happening today as there are many false prophets/prophetesses that are relating dreams of deceit and vainly comforting people by tickling their ears with wicked fantasies that do not cause people to turn from their crookedness but keep them entertained and thinking that they are ok without being able to properly see their depraved state of lawlessness, stubbornness and pride!

Because of all this the people had wandered about like sheep that has no shepherd! The Hebrew word that is used here for ‘household idols’ is תְּרָפִים teraphim – Strong’s H8655 which means, idols, idolatry, and is understood as being  an object of reverence that was used as a means of divination and false worship. In other words it was anything that the people would have much reverence for and identified as something that can be used for worship and divination! This word is a plural noun and is used 15 times in Scripture and in all but one instance it is clear that this word refers to pagan household idols and idolatry. The one instance that is a little ambiguous is that which is recorded in Shemu’ĕl Aleph/1 Samuel 19 where Miḵal took the household idol and put it in the bed and pretended that it was Dawiḏ who was sick in bed, after she had let Dawiḏ escape from Sha’ul who was seeking his life. Despite this being a text that leaves the interpretation of תְּרָפִים teraphim unsolved in this text we take note that תְּרָפִים teraphim were never condoned in Scripture as a legitimate object or tool for worship unto יהוה!

The word תְּרָפִים teraphim – Strong’s H8655 is also translated as ‘idolatry’ in:

Shemu’ĕl Aleph/1 Samuel 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and stubbornness is as wickedness and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of יהוה, He also does reject you as sovereign.

What is clear is that stubbornness is as wicked as having a household idol! Wow! Stubbornness is likened to a household idol, all because when one is stubborn and full of pride then the focus is on self and not on the Truth! The Hebrew word that is translated here as ‘stubbornness’ is פָּצַר patsar – Strong’s H6484 which means, to push, press, insubordination, make blunt and can also be understood as displaying arrogance and being presumptuous and therefore be in a state or condition of being haughty and proud that reflects a behaviour that insists on one’s own way being correct while refusing to submit to יהוה’s prescribed Way!

Stubbornness and pride, simply put, is as vain idolatry, which is what so many struggle with as they stubbornly refuse to let go of the deception and falsehood of vain traditions!

Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 6:16-18And what union has the Dwelling Place of Elohim with idols? For you are a Dwelling Place of the living Elohim, as Elohim has said, “I shall dwell in them and walk among them, and I shall be their Elohim, and they shall be My people.” 17 Therefore, “Come out from among them and be separate, says יהוה, and do not touch what is unclean, and I shall receive you. 18 “And I shall be a Father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me, says יהוה the Almighty.

What is worth taking note of is that this Hebrew word for ‘household idols’ - תְּרָפִים teraphim – is thought to be derived from the plural of the root verb רָפָא rapha – Strong’s H7495 which means, to heal, repaired, become fresh, purified, cure, and in many ways can represent the false ‘healers’ that are sought as opposed to יהוה who is our Healer! What becomes clear is that any object or person that is held in such high reverence and regarded as a means of expressing worship and the ability to divine or prophesy can be a type or form of תְּרָפִים teraphim. While we recognise that the Word of יהוה clearly commands us to not make a carved image and bow down to it or serve it, one of the most common household idols around the world today is the crucifix, which many believe to have miraculous healing powers. They will hold it is high regard and have extreme reverence for it; they will kiss it, touch it for healing and wave it over others in the assumption that it has some miraculous power in the use and display thereof. By definition of Scripture it is a household idol! תְּרָפִים teraphim can be anything that is placed in one’s life as a source or means of worship and being made whole, which can be a physical object that is held in reverence by its user or it can even be self, through the vain stubbornness and pride that sees one’s own way and doing what is right in one’s own eyes as right and in the process can so easily casts aside the need to seek יהוה, guard His commands and possess the true witness of יהושע Messiah, the Teacher of Righteousness, that came down like rain!

Household idols spoke emptiness! The Hebrew word used here for ‘emptiness’ is אָוֶן aven – Strong’s H205 which means, iniquity, trouble, wicked, sorrow’.  In Hoshěa/Hosea 10 Yisra’ĕl is called a degenerate vine, due to the corruption of their false worship practices that they had adopted, as they were a nation that had become so twisted in their attempt at worship, that they resorted to the use of lying, cheating and the twisting of words to cover up their wickedness; and they had put more trust in self and their worship programmes and idols, rather than in יהוה. They were more afraid of losing their calf to the enemy than actually stripping away the lies! When Yaroḇʽam, the king of the northern tribes, had built Sheḵem in the north as the capital of Ephrayim, he did not want people to go to Yerushalayim to worship in fear that they would return to Reḥaḇʽam, the king of Yehuḏah, and so he made two calves of gold, setting one up in Bĕyth Ěl and another in Dan and made high places of all sorts and made many priests from all sorts of people who were not from Lĕwi. And this became the focus of their worship – calf worship! They had not learnt from the incident in the Wilderness many years before when Aharon built a golden calf proclaiming a festival unto יהוה, while in יהוה’s eyes it was an abomination (Shemoth/Exodus 32). This time was no different – יהוה does not change!

Yisra’ĕl was more concerned about their calf being captured due to the tightening grip of judgement that was coming upon them and in Hoshěa/Hosea 10:5 we see the place Bĕyth Ěl being called בֵּית אָוֶן Bĕyth Awen – Strong’s H1007 which means, ‘house of iniquity/ house of wickedness/ house of vanity.

Hoshěa/Hosea 10:5The inhabitants of Shomeron fear because of the calf of Bĕyth Awen. For its people shall mourn for it, as well as its priests who used to rejoice over it, because of its esteem that has departed from it.

What we see very clearly here is the fact that the House of Ěl had now become the House of iniquity!!! False worship was taking place and the people leading the services were false priests!

Idolatry is still being practiced by millions today and while they claim to be the House of Elohim we take note that the House of Elohim has no union with idols! Here in Zeḵaryah/Zechariah 10 the call to come out and be separated from idolatry is made very clear! Not only do the household idols speak emptiness and evil, which means they do not speak truth at all, we also see how the diviners had led people astray by seeing falsehood and relating dreams of deceit to the people which led them away from the True Shepherd of Yisra’ĕl!

The Hebrew word that is translated here as ‘diviners’ comes from the root verb קָסַם qasam – Strong’s H7080 which means, to practice divination, diviner, be a soothsayer, seek an omen, which is the very thing that is prohibited!

Bilʽam was a diviner/ false prophet:

Yehoshua/Joshua 13:22 “And the sons of Yisra’ĕl killed with the sword Bilʽam son of Be‘or, the diviner, among those who were killed by them.

A false prophet deceives through ‘seeing falsehood’ and ‘relating dreams of deceit’ in an attempt at comforting their hearers! The Hebrew root word translated as ‘falsehood’ is שֶׁקֶר sheqer – Strong’s H8267 which means, deception, disappointment, falsehood, lies, and comes from the root verb שָׁקַר shaqar – Strong’s H8266 which means, to do or deal falsely, lie’.  

Ěḵah/Lamentations 2:14Your prophets have seen falsehood and folly for you, and have not shown you your crookedness, to turn back your captivity. But their visions for you are false and misleading messages.

Through the false and misleading messages we see how so many have actually begun to teach themselves to speak falsehood; a falsehood that has been so ingrained in them, and we see this in Yirmeyahu’s day too as we see in:

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 9:5-6 “And everyone deceives his neighbour, and no one speaks the truth. They have taught their tongue to speak falsehood, and have wearied themselves to crook. 6 “You live in the midst of deceit; through deceit they have refused to know Me,” declares יהוה.

 

The Hebrew word used here for ‘deceit’, as in ‘dreams of deceit’ is שָׁוְא shav – Strong’s H7723 and means, falsehood, lies, emptiness, worthlessness, and is also a word that is translated as ‘nought’. We take note that the first time that this word is used is in the command to not bring the Name of Elohim to ‘nought’, which is what the false prophets and dreamers of dreams are doing through their false teachings and deceitful traditions that nullify the need to seek יהוה and guard His commands and walk in His teaching and instruction!

As a result of idolatry that has been highly promoted by false prophets and diviners of evil, many have wandered away from the truth and are left stranded without a Shepherd! In verse 3 יהוה makes it clear that His wrath burns against the false shepherds who had taught falsehood and lies! I thought it best to read a passage from Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel as it fits perfectly in hearing the severe woe spoken to false Shepherds and the wrath of Elohim that is coming to destroy all falsehood and wickedness.

Please turn with me to Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 13:1-16 (Read).

Without going to detail of the text from Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel, I am certain that it is abundantly clear, especially in the context of that which we are reading here in Zeḵaryah/Zechariah 10:3 in regards to the wrath of Elohim that burns against the Shepherds!

He is ‘laying a charge’ against the leaders and shall ‘visit’ His flock! The same root word is used for the term ‘lay a charge’ and the word ‘visit’, which is the root word פָּקַד paqa – Strong’s H6485 and carries the meaning, to attend to, call up, muster, appoint, number, call to account, charge, visit upon, punish. This word has both the positive use as well as the negative use in Scripture as we take note that this word is often used to speak of יהוה visiting His set-apart people and fulfilling His promise to them. Sarah was ‘visited’ by יהוה!

Tehillah/Psalm 106:4 “Remember me, O יהוה, in the acceptance of Your people; visit me with Your deliverance

There awaits another day of visitation, as spoken of here in Zeḵaryah, where יהוה is coming to bring deliverance to His people while also bringing destruction to His enemies! This was also a prophetic promise of Messiah, the Teacher of Righteousness, that would come down like rain and teach us His Truth and call His wandered sheep back, while pronouncing the soon coming wrath that is coming upon the sons of disobedience!

The clear prophecy given here in verse 3-4 is the wonderful promise of Messiah coming forth from Yehuḏah! As the seed of promise from the line of Yehuḏah, Messiah would be brought forth in the flesh and be revealed as the stone which the builders had rejected and be the tent peg that secures the Covenants of Promise in His Blood while also giving us the assurance of His Covenant and protection thereof to all who are in Him and submit to His rule!

In verse 4 we see 4 powerful pictures of prophecy that Messiah fulfils!

1) He is the corner-stone that came from Yehuḏah, as the Promised Seed!

The Hebrew word for ‘corner-stone’ is פִּנָּה pinnah – Strong’s H6438:

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 28:16 “Therefore thus said the Master יהוה, “See, I am laying in Tsiyon a stone for a foundation, a tried stone, a precious corner-stone, a settled foundation. He who trusts shall not hasten away.

Tehillah/Psalm 118:22 “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner-stone.

2) He is the ‘tent-peg’, which is the Hebrew word יָתֵד yatheḏ – Strong’s H3489 and symbolizes the securing of the Covenants of Promise for the House that יהוה builds!

The tent pegs of the Tabernacle were made of bronze and are symbolic of our Master’s complete work for us, in that the pegs would be half in the ground and half out – showing us that He has in fact defeated death and the grave and has conquered sin, as He was led as a Lamb to the slaughtering.  What is also a very powerful and significant picture for us in regards to tent pegs is that we read in Ezra how יהוה left a tent peg as a remnant:

Ezra 9:7-8 “Since the days of our fathers to this day we have been very guilty, and for our crookednesses we, our sovereigns, and our priests have been given into the hand of the sovereigns of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to plunder, and to shame of faces, as it is this day. 8 “But now, for a short while, favour has been shown from יהוה our Elohim, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a peg in His set-apart place, that our Elohim might enlighten our eyes and give us a little reviving in our bondage.

A peg in His Set-Apart Place! As we are discovering more and more about how we too have been found to be guilty of our crookednesses as we had fallen prey to the inherited lies of tradition; we recognise that in His great mercy יהוה has left us a peg as a remnant to escape the lies of traditions in order that our eyes may be opened as we turn to the Messiah, for when one turns to the True Messiah יהושע, then the veil is lifted. That ‘peg’ that He has left us as a remnant is sufficient for us to be about rebuilding His Tabernacle as we build on the Chief Cornerstone, The Rock of our Salvation – יהושע Messiah!

3) From Him also comes the ‘battle bow’ and the Hebrew word that is used for ‘bow’ is קֶשֶׁת qesheth – Strong’s H7198 which means, bow, archer, arrows. In Berěshith/Genesis 9:13 this word is translated as ‘rainbow’ – where יהוהset’ His rainbow in the cloud as a sign of the Covenant He made with Noaḥ.

This word comes from the primitive root קָשָׁה qashah – Strong’s H7185 which means, to be hard, severe or fierce, stiffened in the original sense of the primitive root word קוּשׁ qosh – Strong’s H6983 meaning, to lay bait, ensnare.

The word used for ‘set’, as in ‘set the rainbow in the cloud’ is נָתַתִּי  - ‘nathati’ – which is from the root word נָתַן Nathan – Strong’s H5414 and is written in the ‘qal active’ tense which can render the meaning of, to give, put, set, ascribe, entrust, give over, deliver up, constitute’.  From this understanding we see a wonderful picture of the great mercy of יהוה who has basically ‘put’ His fierce and severe arrow in the cloud; and so we need to realise that Noaḥ and his sons had never seen a rain cloud that did not bring destruction and here by the sign of His bow being set in the clouds to never bring destruction upon the earth in that way again was a powerful picture of His mercy toward His faithful remnant seed in that His mighty bow will not strike them. The rainbow would forever be a sign for us that His mercy endures forever and we who follow after Him and walk in Messiah need never fear His bow or arrow that has been drawn for those appointed for destruction:

Tehillah/Psalm 7:12-13 “If one does not repent! He sharpens His sword, He bends His bow and makes it ready, 13 and He has prepared for Himself instruments of death, He makes His arrows hot for pursuers.

The sign He has set in the heavens is therefore a two-fold sign – it is a witness of His loving-commitment toward the righteous who are hidden from His wrath, while at the same time a witness and warning against the wicked – that His bow is ready for the day of His wrath!

It is also a great sign for us who are ‘in’ Messiah; that no matter how big or strong the bow of the enemy may seem, and no matter how many arrows the enemy tries to shoot at us – the enemies bow and arrows cannot match that of our Supreme Master and King – יהוה of Hosts – fro from Him comes the battle bow!

4) From Him every ruler, together! The Hebrew word used here for ‘ruler’ is נָגַשׂ nagas – Strong’s H5065 which means, to press, push, drive, oppress, exact, and is primarily a word that is used to described oppressors, which helps us recognise how He will bring all rule under His authority in destroying all oppression and slavery!

 

Therefore from verse 4 we are able to clearly see 4 powerful promises for those who ‘ask יהוה for rain’, as we are reminded that in our Master, Elohim and Rock of our deliverance, יהושע Messiah, we have a firm foundation that has been secured in His Blood and we have His full protection and promise of being built up in Him as One, as we submit to His teaching, instruction and leadership, for He is the Good Shepherd!

In verse 5 we are able to see the clear prophetic promise of those who are in Messiah, for they will be strengthened to trample down the mud of the streets in battle! We are made mighty in Messiah to trample down hypocrisy and falsehood!

The muddy streets are symbolic of the dirtied ways of falsehood and oppression and we take note that our Master has brought us up out of the muddy clay and set our feet on the Rock:

Tehillah/Psalm 40:1-4 “I waited, waited for יהוה; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. 2 And He drew me out of the pit of destruction, out of the muddy clay, and He set my feet upon a rock, He is establishing my steps. 3 Then He put a new song in my mouth; praise to our Elohim; many do see it and fear, and trust in יהוה. 4 Blessed is that man who has made יהוה his trust, and has not turned to the proud, and those turning aside to falsehood.

We are able to fight because יהוה is with us, for יהוה is with those who fear Him! We can fight to good fight of belief!

The riders on horses will be put to shame! This is a clear picture of those who walk according to the flesh will be put to shame. Those who put their trust in horses will be put to shame! From this we are able to see the encouragement we are to be strengthened in by knowing that as we stand firm in our Master, armed in His Torah, then we are able to put to death the misdeeds of the flesh and trample down the muddied waters or deceptions and falsehood!

The chapter goes on to highlight the true heart of rejoicing that a returning remnant will have, or rather, should have right now as we seek יהוה for His rain and let righteousness and pure rejoicing be restored! יהוה is coming to strike the waves of the sea, which is symbolic of destroying the falsehood and deception of the nations that oppressed His set-apart people through idolatry and wickedness. He is coming to bring down the proud and lofty ones that will be cut off and plucked out of the earth and He is also coming to lift up the meek and humble who will inherit the earth!

Those who are in Him will walk mightily in His Name!

Eph’siyim/Ephesians 6:10 “For the rest, my brothers, be strong in the Master and in the mightiness of His strength.

Miḵah/Micah 4:5For all the peoples walk, each one in the name of his mighty one, but we walk in the Name of יהוה our Elohim forever and ever.

Qolasim/Colossians 2:6-7 “Therefore, as you accepted Messiah יהושע the Master, walk in Him, 7 having been rooted and built up in Him, and established in the belief, as you were taught, overflowing in it with thanksgiving.

 

This Chapter in Zeḵaryah ought to be a chapter of encouragement to the set-apart ones, while at the same time a warning to those who are still walking in muddied streets of hypocrisy and false traditions. The harvest is ripe and the rain of יהוה is needed to strengthen and mature the Bride. We must ask יהוה for rain and do our utmost to make His instructions and teachings known to others as we go and make taught ones of the nations, calling many out of the muddied streets of falsehood and lies as we strip away all that sets itself up against the Most High:

Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 10:3-6 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not fight according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons we fight with are not fleshly but mighty in Elohim for overthrowing strongholds, 5 overthrowing reasonings and every high matter that exalts itself against the knowledge of Elohim, taking captive every thought to make it obedient to the Messiah, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience, when your obedience is complete.

 

This call to ask יהוה for rain is a call to set-apartness and the readiness that a true set-apart one who has ears to hear takes heed of and destroys all forms of idolatry and muddied ways that defile the garments of righteousness that we have been given in Messiah! As we allow these words to encourage us to be bold in walking up and down in the Name of יהוה we must also recognise the need to endure and make sure that there is no form of idolatry or divination or stubbornness in our lives. I mentioned the crucifix earlier as one of the most popular household idols of today, however we do take note that there are many others, one of which is the ‘tallit/Jewish prayer shawl’ which is held in utmost reverence by those who claim a spiritual significance to its usage, while we find no Scripture basis or evidence for the use of a tallit, which was the clear design of Rabbinic Judaism in the Middle Ages as taught through kabbalah, which is the ancient Jewish tradition of mystical interpretation of the Bible and is something that true followers of Messiah must stay clear from!

It is time for the true worshippers to worship the Father in Spirit and Truth and destroy all wickedness as we ask יהוה for rain and walk in His mighty Name!

I will close with the some of the words that Sha’ul wrote to the believers in Thessalonica:

Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 4:1-8 “For the rest then, brothers, we beg you and call upon you in the Master יהושע, that as you received from us how you should walk and to please Elohim, you should excel still more, 2 for you know what commands we gave you through the Master יהושע. 3 For this is the desire of Elohim: your set-apartness! – that you should abstain from whoring, 4 that each one of you should know how to possess his own vessel in set-apartness and respect, 5 not in passion of lust, like the gentiles who do not know Elohim, 6 not to overstep and take advantage of his brother in this matter, because the Master is the revenger of all such, as we indeed said to you before and earnestly warned. 7 For Elohim did not call us to uncleanness, but in set-apartness. 8 Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but Elohim, who also gives us His Set-apart Spirit.

Ask יהוה for rain, destroy all wickedness and idolatry, trample down the muddied ways and be armed I the Truth to fight the Good fight of belief and walk in the Name of our Master and Elohim, יהושע Messiah, rejoicing always in Him!!

יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show favour to you; יהוה lift up His face to you and give you shalom!