The Flying Scroll and the Pride of Israel

Zechariah 5:1-4

Dr. S. Lewis Johnson expounds Zechariah the Prophet's vision of the flying scroll.

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[Message] The subject for tonight as we turn to the 5th chapter of the Book of Zechariah is “The Flying Scroll and the Pride of Israel.” And our subject, so far as the Scripture itself is concerned, is Zechariah chapter 5, verse 1 through verse 4. I’m not sure that in the preceding studies that I have mentioned the fact that one of the commentators on the prophecy of Zechariah has called this book, or this prophet who wrote the book, the prophet of hope. Well, when one looks at the first of the visions, these eight magnificent night visions that open the book, surely the thought of hope is one of the predominant themes of the book. And then when we think of the last six chapters of the book, in which we have what may be called, purer, predictive prophecy, with less of the symbolism characteristic of the first five chapters. The idea of hope is certainly predominate.

What we have looked over primarily is the glorious vista of Israel’s future spiritual and temporal prosperity. And the description is given in these chapters, to my mind, justifies the accolade that Zechariah is the prophet of hope. But before the golden lamp stand of Israel’s testimony through the Messiah, sheds abroad the light of Yahweh’s name, it is necessary for the defiled people and the defiled land to be purged of sin. One would expect in these great prophecies of the future to find some statement made with reference to the means by which the forgiveness of sins may be received, which would be necessary for the blessing of God. So, when we think of the prophetic word we always must ask ourselves the question, “What is the provision made for forgiveness of sins?” No on can inherit any blessing from God apart from forgiveness of sins. All of the prophetic word is fulfilled for individuals, in the sense of blessing for them, only in the ground of the finished work of Jesus Christ. So, when we turn to chapter 5, and we note the emphasis here on the necessary cleansing or judgment that is set forth, we are not surprised.

One of the things characteristic of the nation Israel has been the failure to recognize this. This spirit of boastfulness, unthinkable in Biblical saints, has characterized a great deal of the religious history of the nation Israel since the days of our Lord. For example, Rabbi Simeon b. Yohai, one of the greatest of the rabbinic authorities, has said something so characteristic of religious Judaism. He says, “I have seen the children of the world to come, and they are few. If there are three, I and my son are of their number. If there are two, I and my son are they.” Think of that. If three people are going to inherit the blessing of God, two of them will be my son and I. And if only two, then we are the only two. It reminds us of the statement that one of the rabbis made a long time ago about that fact that Abraham sits by the entrance of Sheol, and prevents any son of Abraham from entering therein.

Chief Rabbi Addler, of a few years back, said, “We require no mediator to save us from the effects of our guilt. Our own sincere repentance suffices to achieve for us divine forgiveness.” So, in other words, there is no need for the penalty of sin being punished. There is no need for the establishment of the righteousness of the law of God, no need for the law of God to be honored by the penalties suggested by the law being carried out. In other words, all that is necessary is our sincere repentance, and that justifies forgiveness. What we find in Zechariah is nothing, then, like the mockish theology that is characterized Judaism and characterized today religious liberalism. We don’t know anything, if we read the Scriptures, about a God who is simply the God of love, who overlooks our failures and our shortcomings, and affections in men. So characteristic of the world today, to think of God as a God of love alone, and one finds this often in evangelicalism, because evangelicalism as well, effected no doubt by that kind of philosophy, finds itself embarrassed to say, yes, the biblical God is a God of love, all right. But the biblical God is a God of holiness and justice, and therefore he must punish sin. And judgment must come to pass. We all, I think, have imbibed so much of the aura and spirit of the world that we are embarrassed a little bit to stress to worldlings, God is a God of judgment. He does punish departure from the preceptive will of God, as expressed in his word.

One of the finest paragraphs written by a man who is not as evangelical as I would have liked him to be is a paragraph written by Emil Brunner, who for some years was professor of Systematic Theology at the University of Zurich. And in this paragraph, in a book entitled, The Scandal of Christianity, he says, “The center then of this phenomenon of evil is that man wants to be his own God. In modern times this nature of evil has come to the fore clearer than ever, in the doctrines of two great thinkers of the last century. Those two thinkers, whose influence on our generation has been greater than that of anybody else, Karl Marx and Friedrich Nietzsche. Marx started from the saying, ‘Man can be free only if he owes his life to himself, therefore the real fall of man is an acknowledgement of a God upon whom man thinks himself dependent.'”

Think of that. Man fell, not by sinning in the Garden of Eden, but man fell by thinking that he’s dependent upon God. That’s his real fall. “Either freedom or faith,” so Brunner continues, “Nietzsche in his turn makes his error fast, asks, ‘If there were gods, who can endure not being a god? Therefore there are no gods.’ Man does not want to have somebody above him. These are the two classic new coinings of that aboriginal word of the serpent in paradise, with which it seduced man. You shall be like God. It is not in the sensual animal nature of man’s constitution that the origin of evil lies, but in his will to break down the barrier of creaturely relative freedom, and substitute for it divine absolute freedom. Sin has its origin,” Brunner says, “in the will in a conception of freedom dictated by pride, just as the image of God lies not in something constitutional or substantial, but in relation to the creator. So also the evil is not founded on, or grounded in some element of his natural constitution, but again in his relation to God, namely in the negation of the God given destiny and frame of man’s life.” Well, I think that he is right. Sin does begin in unbelief, which is an action of the will, and as a result of the unbelief characterized by Adam’s departure from the word of God in the Garden of Eden, sin came into our life.

So, there are two methods of dealing with sin. One is grace. One is judgment. But judgment is often overlooked, and we fail to realize that if we do not respond to God’s dealing with sin in grace, we shall find God dealing with sin in judgment. And that in a sense is what we have right here in chapter 5, verse 1 through 4. Because up to this point what has characterized Zechariah has been these marvelous prophecies of the glory of the future, and what the nation can look forward to. Zechariah wanted to encourage the people who had come back to the city of Jerusalem from the Babylonian captivity. But of course, there is something else besides a glorious future; there is such a thing as divine judgment. And in the blessing of God, those great prophecies are going to be fulfilled only on the basis of the satisfaction of the holiness and righteousness of God. Now, we know, because we stand nineteen hundred years after the cross, that that was done in the cross of Christ. And Jesus Christ bore the penalty and bore the judgment for sinners on the cross, and on the basis of that God is free to give his great prophecies and promises to the people of God. Zechariah, of course, writes before the event.

Now, let’s turn to chapter 5, and we’ll read first through the vision of the prophet.

“Then I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a flying roll. (By the way, this word means “scroll” not a flying roll. It is no reference aboard an ocean liner in the midst of a storm, [Laughter] nor an argument at the dinner table. [Laughter] But the word roll is the roll of a scroll.) And he said unto me, What seest thou? And I answered, I see a flying roll; the length thereof is twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof ten cubits. (This is a large size scroll. We’ll make a comment about it in a moment.) Then said he unto me, This is the curse that goeth forth over the face of the whole earth: for every one that stealeth shall be cut off as on this side according to it; and every one that sweareth shall be cut off as on that side according to it. I will bring it forth, saith the LORD of hosts, and it shall enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him that sweareth falsely by my name: and it shall remain in the midst of his house, and shall consume it with the timber thereof and the stones thereof.”

So, Zechariah is commanded by the angel who is talking with him to take a look, and he sees the flying scroll. There is no way in which we can represent that. You will have to visualize that in your own mind. Even an overhead projector would not be any help to us in seeing this large scroll flying through the heaven. The scroll is spread open, and it’s a very large one. It’s thirty feet in length, by fifteen feet in width, and it’s like a giant sheet. And this is what Zechariah sees, a scroll spread open like a huge sheet since it could be read, and furthermore it could be read on both sides. That’s the meaning of the expression here when he says in verse 3, “For every one that stealeth shall be cut off as on this side according to it; and every one that sweareth shall be cut off as on that side according to it.” So a magnificently large scroll, Zechariah sees flying over the sky. And probably you have noticed from the reading of verse 3 and 4 that he makes specific reference to the fact that one side of it, one can see, and the other side of it, one can see, and then in the 3rd verse he makes reference to the fact that, “for every one that stealeth shall be cut off as on this side according to it.” And since you all know the Ten Commandments so well, you know that is the eighth commandment.

So that’s one side of the law, and then he says, “And every one that sweareth shall be cut off as on that side according to it.” And that, of course, is a reference to the third commandment. So, the reference that he sees is a reference to the two sides of the law. And remember the first part of the Ten Commandments has to do with man’s relationship to God. And then the second part of the commandments, the second side of the law, had to do with man’s relationship with his fellow man. That’s an important thing, and important in our Lord’s dealing with individuals like the lawyer, for example, later on in our Lord’s ministry that become significant in understanding specific aspects of his dealing.

Now, lets’ turn to the significance of the vision, and I would just like to point out the things that I think are important. Perhaps you have notices, if you have been reading Zechariah at all, that this vision does not have nearly so lengthy an explanation as some of the other visions, and as we go along we will notice that that is somewhat characteristic. The explanations are briefer now, it’s almost as if Zechariah expects us to draw upon what we’ve already learned, and therefore we should be in a better way for understanding the things that are being said. So, first of all the meaning of the flying scroll; it’s like a flying Bible, like a flying law of Moses, and of course the reference to the law and the reference to the scroll through the Old Testament is clearly a reference to doom. This is characteristic of the law, for the law, remember, was the means by which men were brought to the knowledge of their sin. If you turn to the Book of Ezekiel in the 2nd chapter, there a scroll is a figure of doom. In the Book of Revelation, chapter 5, verse 1 through verse 4, if there is no Lamb of God to open the scroll that is there, then that too becomes a vision of judgment. And John, remember, begins to weep until he is told that the lion of the tribe of Judah has prevailed to open the book. So the sense of this is rapid approaching judgment from God.

Now, the dimensions, what’s the significance of the dimensions? Well, it’s a large scroll, thirty feet by fifteen feet. Thirty feet long, fifteen feet wide, considerably longer than the average kind of scroll, or considerably larger than the average kind of scroll upon which one wrote a book. For example, the Book of Luke and the Book of Acts, the two longest books of the New Testament, assuming they were written upon scrolls, as they probably were, made of papyrus, they would have been about thirty feet long, but about twelve inches in width. So this is a whole lot larger than anything upon which a book of the New Testament would be written. But when one studies this thirty feet by fifteen feet, he discovers of course, that this is the precise size of the tabernacle, the tabernacle where God, in symbol, dwelt with the Nation Israel.

So, immediately it is suggested that this particular scroll is suggestive of the presence of God, and perhaps of the sanctuary of God, and therefore the suggestion that most of the commentators feel is made by this is, this scroll, this scroll that suggests doom and judgment, suggests that Israel is to be judged by the standard of the sanctuary. That is, by what is found in God’s word, and the very fact that the size of it is the same as the tabernacle associated with the presence of God in the midst of his people, suggests that they will be judged righteously according to his revealed character in the word of God. Men are not going to be judged by public sentiment. They are not going to be judged by Christian opinion. They are not going to be judged by human reason. They are not going to be judged by human ideas of fairness, but we are to be judged according to the teaching of the word of God.

There is a story of a little boy who once said to his father or his mother. He said, “Mama, I’m as tall as Goliath. I’m nine feet high.” And this was not Kareem Abdul-Jabbar either. And his mother said, “What makes you say that?” somewhat surprised. “Well, I made a little ruler of my own, and I measured myself with it, and I’m just nine feet high.” Well, it’s a simple little story, but that’s exactly what people do. They measure themselves by themselves. And they measure themselves by others. They measure themselves by human standards. As Paul puts it, he lets us know that those who measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves among themselves are not wise. So, the judgment that is to be exercised is a judgment that is according to the word of God. It is possible for us to think that we are judged in other ways. But this is the way that the Scripture speaks of our judgment.

You know, I am told that this is true of Southern California also, that there is a place to which you can go and take your automobile. There is a hill near the city, and you can go on that hill, and you can stop your car on that hill and coast up hill. So it seems. Now, I know that is true in Scotland. If you’ll go out to the west of Scotland near Culzean Castle there is a place called Electric Brae. And I was first introduced to this about eleven years ago by a man who is a Christian man in the city of Glasgow, a publisher, and he said, “I want to take you and show you something.” And so we went up on the Electric Brae, and he shut the motor off, and we coasted up hill. Now, of course, that’s the way it seemed. It seemed that we were coasting up hill. It’s one of those illusions, one of those optical illusions that everybody goes by to see. You can go there and stop your car, and you can see for yourself. But if you were to take a plumb line out or a level out and put it on the ground, you would see, of course, that you were coasting down hill and not up hill. It’s an optical illusion. Well, that same thing is true in divine things. We are judged ultimately by the word of God, not by our sense of fairness, or what human reason says, or what someone else says, or what some religion says, or what some church says. We are judged by the truth of the word of God.

There is also a story of an individual who was walking on a dark night, and he got splashed by a taxi that went by. And he looked down at his clothes, and he said, “Oh I got some mud on me.” And then as he walked on, he was drawing nearer a light. He looked again, and he said, Well, I don’t think it’s too bad.” And then when he got nearer the light he said, “It’s worse than I thought.” And then finally, when he got right to the light he said, “I’ve got to go back and change my clothes.” Well, it illustrates the fact that the closer that we get to the standard as set forth in the word of God, the more we see the way in which we fall short. And that was the purpose of the gift of the law to Israel. The Law of Moses was never given to save anyone. The Ten Commandments were given to show Israel Israel’s sin. “By the law is the full knowledge of sin.” Paul makes that point over and over again. And in fact, later on in his ministry he said, “The law is not for righteous men. The law is for unrighteous men.” The law was given to show us that we were sinners. And if it could have done that job for all Israel, it could have done the best thing possible for them. So, it is suggested by this that the law is the basis upon which we are to be judged. “Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy mind, with all thy soul, and thy neighbor as thyself,” the Lord Jesus said. He summed up the two tables of the law in those statements, love the Lord God, love ones neighbor as one loves ones self. The whole of the Ten Commandments bound up in that, and that is the divine requirement.

And if we don’t meet the divine requirement we’re guilty. We’re lost. We come under the divine judgment. So in symbolic form the prophet is pointed to the fact that there is not going to be any inheritance of the great promises that he’s been speaking about apart from some provision for human sin. We have so many ways of hiding our guilt before the Lord God. And even among Christians, one can see it. We have to distinguish among sins. We have legalistic Christians; they always look at the outward. What is sin? Well, sin is playing cards, dancing, going to movies. When I first became a Christian, wearing make up, ladies that was regarded as sin; various other kinds of taboos, some of which still characteristic of some churches, but actually those types of outward sins were the primary emphasis of evangelicals. The mental sins, the sins of the mind, and the sins of the heart, which were truly important, were often not even regarded as sins; gossip, jealousy, pride, judgment of others, envy, backbiting, hypocrisy.

As a matter of fact, we would say they are sins, but we practice them. And what board of elders is there in any church that disciplines people for gossip? For backbiting? For hyposcrisy? For envy? Jealousy? Well, I think we have the finest of elders, and probably if the elders knew of specific cases they might want to encourage an individual to consider the teaching of the word of God. But those are the sins that, if anything, are far more important than these taboos that we’ve been talking about. People have areas of weakness and areas of strength, and those who have areas of strengths in certain areas are quick to criticize others who have areas of weakness in different areas, and vice versa. So, we really fail in evangelicalism, to understand and practice what the Scriptures say about human sin.

Now, I have a good friend who is a minister. Many of you know him. He likes to say that Christians have Alexander Graham Bell-itis, that is, they like to get on the phone, and they like to rip the saints up and down. And then not only have they ripped the saints up and down over the telephone, but they have the nerve to call it “having a little Christian fellowship.” [Laughter] Now, that is revealing of the character of many of in evangelicalism, and we laugh at it, but of course it’s not a laughing matter really. We all realize that. It’s a very serious thing. It’s something over which we all individually should pray. Well, one thing you can say is morality is of no use, so far as salvation is concerned. Morality will keep you out of jail, but only divine mercy can keep you out hell. Remember that. Morality is fine and useful, and helpful in this life, this life in our society, but it is divine mercy that we really need in order to be kept from divine judgment.

Well, what is the significance then of the contents of this vision. Well, all who break God’s law are condemned, and they are cursed to die. “Then said he unto me,” in verse 3, “This is the curse that goeth forth over the face of the whole earth: for every one that stealeth shall be cut off as on this side according to it; and every one that sweareth,” that is, who does not acknowledge Yahweh properly, “as on that side according to it.” The curse; what he’s talking about in context is what Moses talks about in Deuteronomy 27, and in verse 26, and this is what he says there. In the midst of the giving of the law, Moses says, “Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen.” Now, notice what Moses says. He says, “Cursed be the one that confirmeth not all the words of the law to do them.” The Apostle Paul cites that text in Galatians chapter 3, and says whosoever does not continue in all the works of the Lord to do them; he shall come under the divine curse. So, what is stated by the Mosaic Law is the only thing that will satisfy God is absolute perfection. Think of that. The only thing that will satisfy God is absolute perfection.

Well, how can we have absolute perfection? Well, there is no way in which we can have absolute perfection by our own works. The only way in which we can have a righteousness that is valid before the Lord God is for it to be given to us in grace, and that of course, is what takes place through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, who bears our punishment and judgment. And then God, in grace and mercy for those who have believed on him, he given them in grace a standing before him that is absolutely perfect. We are justified by grace through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ.

It seems to me, though there is a question over this, that when he says in verse three, this is the curse that goeth forth over the face of the whole earth, that he is talking about the universality of divine judgment. Some commentators, however, think that he is only talking about the land of Palestine. But the principle would be the same. The Hebrew term is the word erets, which can mean “the land,” but it also can mean “the earth.” And so, it’s doubtful, but I personally think that probably this is the universality of divine judgment. And the stealing and swearing are just two sides of the law to stress the whole of the commandments, because theft is an action that makes a man false toward man. And perjury is one that makes him false toward God. And these are the middle commandments of both of the tables, and in a sense they are samples and summaries of the two tables of the law, which express man’s whole duty to God.

The law, you see, is like a mirror. When a man observed himself in a mirror and he sees that his face is dirty, what does he do? Well, he takes the mirror and he rubs it all over his face doesn’t he. He runs and gets some water to wash his face. The mirror is useful for revealing the condition of himself, but he needs something else in order to be cleaned. Any other use of the mirror other than just to reveal what we are, is folly. So the person who looks at the Law of Moses and sees himself fall short, he shouldn’t therefore attempt to keep the Law of Moses to be justified. But rather, find in Christ and his gracious work on the cross the solution to his guilt before God.

The rich young ruler is a beautiful illustration of this, and you know, when the rich young ruler came to the Lord Jesus he asked a question that reveals, I think, a great deal of what Zechariah is speaking about here, but expands upon it. In chapter 19, in verse 16 of the Book of Matthew, Matthew describes our Lord’s interview with the rich young ruler in this way.

“And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honor thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”

And so, our Lord summed up the obligations of the Mosaic Law and laid stress upon those, of course that could be used as a test of their relationship to the Lord God. This man said to him, ” All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?” He just needed to know what his heart was like. “Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.” But that man was really a man who loved his possessions. He loved his possessions more than he loved our Lord. So, he went away sorrowful. He had great possessions. He had a magnificent portfolio of common stocks. [Laughter] And some bonds, and he had all kinds of certificates of deposits, and he had a lot of land other possessions, and after all, isn’t that more important than eternal life? Isn’t that stupid? He went away sorrowful, he had great possessions.

Now, our Lord comments upon this. “Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” I’ve often seen a lot of attempts to explain this away, as if our Lord was saying, you know, a rich man really can get into heaven. And therefore, when he’s talking about “It’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle,” he’s talking about the needle gate on the side, and you had to humble yourself a little to go into the gate. But actually our Lord is talking about something that’s impossible. This is a surgical needle. Luke, when he tells the story, he uses the term for a surgical needle, and so when he says “it easier to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God,” he means that no one can get into heaven on the basis of his riches. That’s impossible.

And when the disciples heard it they were amazed, because they don’t understand theology. They haven’t been to Believers Chapel. [Laughter] And so, they were amazed and astonished, because after all, what greater candidate could you have for heaven than a rich young man, who not only was a rich young man, but who came to the Lord Jesus of all people and asked him a religious question about the way of salvation. Now, there’s a person that you would admire. He had everything going for him. That were wasn’t a mother in Jerusalem that wouldn’t have loved to have had this man as her son-in-law. You could just imagine. He had all the keys of life hanging at his girdle. And then Jesus said, when the apostle said, “Who then can be saved” if he cannot be saved? He said, “With men this is impossible.” With men, this is impossible. In other words, a person cannot be saved of himself. “But with God all things are possible.”

Now, if you are a student of the Bible and you know one of those texts you learn, you will recognize immediately that the theology of that text is exactly what he is saying right here. And the text is, “For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves.” With men it is impossible. It is the gift of God. With God all things are possible. Of course, Zechariah, living in the day in which he was living. And living in the need of making very plain Israel’s relationship to the Lord God, he doesn’t stress these things. But we are students of the Scripture, and we have the fullness of divine revelation, and it is proper for us to see indications of what we find later on fully developed in the word of God. In the 4th verse he says, “I will bring it forth, saith the LORD of hosts, and it shall enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him that sweareth falsely.” In other words, the curse is coming, and it will certainly come into the house of the ones who are referred to.

Further, it will remain there, because the judgment that comes will be a permanent penetrating judgment. And in addition it will consume the house. That, of course, expresses the horror of divine retribution as a result of sin. And finally he says it will “consume it with the timber thereof and the stones thereof.” And the completeness of the divine judgment is expressed by that, and if you’ve reach much of the Bible and remember the chapter on the leper, you will remember that one of the things that was designed to express the fullness of divine judgment upon the leper was that the house, in which the leper lived, was also regarded as infected by sin, and must be destroyed. So, the completeness of divine judgment and retribution upon sin is expressed by this.

Well, our time is up. Let me just make a quick application to Zechariah’s day. Well, of course he was laying stress upon the fact that theft brought judgment. That to speak against the Lord God in false oaths, brought judgment. One must be honest, true to the law, and otherwise he stood guilty before God. So far as the Messiah’s day is concerned, it is a warning that eventually there will come the final separation of evil at the climax of human rebellion and apostasy against God. And at the Second Advent of the Lord Jesus, that is specifically told out in great detail. For our day, God’s law is swift. It is in exorable. It is merciless. There is no hope for anyone, except in the mercy of God. But thank God we are offered the mercy of God in the saving work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I love, of course, the great old Calvinist writers, and one of them was Augustus Toplady, and he’s author of Rock of Ages, as you know. There is a story about the way that he wrote this. He was taking a walk one afternoon, and he came to a limestone gorge about two and a half miles long. And he was enjoying the scenery as he passed through the gorge and didn’t notice the storm clouds gathering overhead. But finally he looked up and saw the dark clouds and realized that he might be in for a storm. And the rain began to fall, and then it began to fall in torrents, and he realized he could not get out. And he happened to look over and see a great, large limestone rock. And he went over, and he found shelter under the rock. He was deeply impressed by the way in which he had been delivered from a very unpleasant experience. And there he took a piece of paper from his pocket. He was a hymn writer, as you know, in addition to a preacher, and he wrote the words, “Rock of ages cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee. Let the waters and the blood, from the riven side which flowed. Be of sin, the double cure. Cleanse me from its guilt and power.” He was thinking about Isaiah. Isaiah gave him the thought. Isaiah said, “Man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a culvert from the tempest, as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.” Jesus Christ is the great rock, and he is the way of deliverance from divine curse due to sin, and the only hope that we have. I hope your trust is in that rock of ages. Let’s bow together in a moment of prayer.

[Prayer] Father, we thankful to Thee for these ancient prophecies, and for the way in which they remind us of the great truths of the word of God. So many places in Scripture unfold our judgment due to sin. And the grace that is available to us through Christ, how concerned heaven must be, that we heed and hearken to those words. May the things that we have discussed this evening be the means of the sense of peace and joy and happiness and relief that comes from faith in him who loved us, and gave himself for us. We pray in his name. Amen.