“Colors of the Horses
Recent suggestions tend to focus on the suitability of these colors (red, sorrel, and white) as the colors of a sunrise and sunset, the colors of the myrtle tree, or merely the range of colors suitable for horses. The final vision also returns to the presentation of (chariots and) colored horses (6:1-3: red, black, dappled, and white). This combination of horses at the beginning and end seems to create a frame marking the beginning and end of the vision cycle. In the first vision, the horses and their riders are returning from patrolling the earth. In the final version, the chariots and their horses are preparing to go forth to patrol the earth. This inclusio, combined with the tasks of coming and going, suggests that the entire cycle should be seen as a series of visions received over the course of a single night” (The Book of the Twelve: Micah-Malachi, Smyth & Helwys Bible Commentary, James D. Nogalski, 2011, p. 829).
Reading the Scripture
Here are some ways you might read the scripture or tell the story:
• Apocalyptic visions are dramatic and better read dramatically. The resource kit contains a reading in parts referred to in the Teaching Guide. If you don’t have the resource kit, you could divide the scripture into parts: narrator, God, Zechariah, and man riding a horse (if you wanted to be really dramatic you could have David Williams read this part on horse back. Just kidding. I think.).
o The Bible Experience: The Complete Bible includes the Old Testament (“presented by a stellar ensemble of today’s top-name actors, musicians, clergy, directors, and award-winning producers.” Available from Keith).
• Renovation Committee: The Nominating Committee is preparing to present to the church a new renovation committee to look at renovation projects such as the kitchen, youth space, and fellowship hall. The bus committee is trying to sell our big bus then will consider options for another bus/van. The property committee has been hard at work landscaping the front of the church and many other projects. God, through Zechariah is encouraging the people to resume their efforts to rebuild the temple.
o How can our church building renovations be positive for our church spiritually?
o How could our church building renovations become a hindrance to following God?
o Pray for our property committee, bus committee, and the new renovation committee and pray for God’s leadership in the process.
• The renovation committee, that led us in our most recent Sanctuary renovation, produced a video that you might find interesting to view again. This VCR tape is available from Tommy or me and I hope to post parts of it on the web page.
• Zechariah refers to the prophets of old. Who are the LABC prophets who have died, but whose words and work carry on? Some of our younger classes might want to invite one of our elder members to answer this question.
• I have placed an artist’s depiction of the horses and the rider on the web page (below).
• When is peace not good news?: Interestingly, peace in this passage is bad news for the captive Israelites. The peaceful status quo means they are still captive. I don’t know how you feel, but it seems to me that things are peaceful at Lexington Avenue Baptist Church. It seems there is a sweet spirit in our church right now. I would assume most of us would consider this to be good news. I know I do. But, is there any danger in becoming too comfortable? Would we be open to God shaking things up and presenting us with a difficult challenge?
I have set aside a shelf in the library with resources for Sunday School teachers. I will place there resources of general interest and some specifically applicable to current lessons.
• For additional commentary on the text see these commentaries in our library:
o Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi: The New Century Bible Commentary, Paul Redditt. Recommended to me by Dr. Greg Earwood, president of Baptist Seminary of Kentucky.
o Mercer Commentary on the Bible (Mercer University Press, 1995)
o Harper’s Bible Commentary (Harper & Row, 1988)
• In Keith and Tommy’s offices:
o The Book of the Twelve: Micah-Malachi, Smyth & Helwys Bible Commentary, James D. Nogalski (Smyth & Helwys, 2011)
• Bible Atlas of maps: available in my office and hopefully soon in the library.