Red Horses Among the Myrtle Trees (Daily Portion 10120)

Content Author: 
Reagan, David
Scripture Passage: 
Zechariah 1:1-11

Zechariah prophesied at the same time as Haggai. He spoke to the Israelites who had returned to Jerusalem from Babylon.  The message of this book is one of encouragement.  It looks forward to the restoration of Israel and the coming of the Messiah. The visions recorded in Zechariah are often thought to be difficult to understand.  Do not worry over understanding everything about them at once. Enjoy learning what God has in them.  This passage introduces you to the first of Zechariah’s visions: the red horses among the myrtle trees.

What Does It Say?

  1. Zechariah tells them that the Lord had been sore ____________ with their fathers.
  2. They are encouraged to not be as their ____________ unto whom the former ____________ have cried.
  3.  Zechariah asked of the prophets, “do they ________ for ever?”
  4. Zechariah has a vision of a man riding on a _______ horse who stood among the __________ trees that were in the bottom.  [NOTE: the bottom refers to bottomland; that is, land in a lower area with more moisture in the soil.]
  5. The passage refers to them whom the Lord has sent to walk _____ and _____ through the earth.

What Does It Mean?

  1. The first vision of Zechariah begins with a man riding a red horse and standing among the myrtle trees.  Israel has been taken captive by the Babylonians. But in this chapter God promises, “I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies” (v.16).  Consider the meaning of the myrtle trees.  They were in the bottom and therefore received the moisture to make them healthy and strong.  The myrtle is a large evergreen shrub that grows to the size of a small tree.  It withstands drought and remains green even after cut.  When its leaves are crushed, they bring forth a sweet fragrance.  In ancient times, the Jews would welcome the Sabbath with two bouquets of myrtle.  It was also used to make the booths for the feast of tabernacles (Nehemiah 8:15).  Explain how these characteristics of the myrtle apply to Israel at the time of her return from Babylonian captivity.
  2. Verse 11 states, “And they answered the angel of the LORD that stood among the myrtle trees.” Carefully read the passage. To who does the “they” refer?
  3. The ones referred to as “they” report,  “We have walked to and fro through the earth, and behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest” (v.11).  Even if you do not know for sure, try answering these two questions.  What does it mean that they walked to and fro0 through the earth? What is the significance of their report that the earth sits still and is at rest? 

What Does It Mean to Me?

  1. The Lord told their fathers, “Turn ye unto me…and I will turn unto you” (v.3).  What is this talking about?  What exactly is God promising?  How can you apply this lesson to your own life?
  2. Neither the fathers nor the prophets live forever (v.5).  “But my words and my statutes…” (v.6).  What advantage does God’s word have over the fathers and prophets?  How can we give proper authority to God’s word in our lives today?
David Reagan
Daily Proverb

Proverbs 12:28

In the way of righteousness is life: and in the pathway thereof there is no death.