Jan. 21, 2018

Jan. 21, 2018

Pastor’s Page: Timothy C. Turley

 

Zechariah 5:5-11

5 Then the angel…said to me, "Lift your eyes and see what this is that is going out." 6 And I said, "What is it?" He said, "This is the basket that is going out." And he said, "This is their iniquity in all the land." 7 And behold, the leaden cover was lifted, and there was a woman sitting in the basket! 8 And he said, "This is Wickedness." And he thrust her back into the basket, and thrust down the leaden weight on its opening.

9 Then I lifted my eyes and saw, and behold, two women coming forward! The wind was in their wings. They had wings like the wings of a stork, and they lifted up the basket between earth and heaven. 10 Then I said to the angel who talked with me, "Where are they taking the basket?" 11 He said to me, "To the land of Shinar, to build a house for it. And when this is prepared, they will set the basket down there on its base."

 

In Zechariah 5:5-11, the Lord gave the prophet a vision about a basket of wickedness being taken away to Shinar. This text is one of those that links Babylon to wickedness, an image we see fully developed in Revelation 17-18. This passage is also where the modern image of angels is derived.

Almost all artwork of angels pictures a woman with blonde hair and wings from her back. Zechariah saw two of these women, taking the basket from the Holy Land to Shinar (Babylon). This passage, though, is not about what angels look like, but is the vision Zechariah was given. Descriptions of angels in Scripture always look like men, but sometimes with greater glory:

1.   Genesis 18:1-2, 22 & 19:1-22;

2.   Joshua 5:13-15; Judges 13:1-21;

3.   Daniel 3:24-25; 8:15-17; 9:20-23; 12:5ff;

4.   Zechariah 1:7ff; 4:1ff; 5:5;

5.   Matthew 28:1-8; Luke 24:1-8;

6.   Acts 10:1-8, 30-33; 12:6-11.

This list isn’t exhaustive, but includes texts from throughout the Bible. Angels (not the Seraphim & Cherubim; see Isaiah 6, Ezekiel 1, Revelation 4) always look like men, but sometimes with glory. Some of those who see them assume they’re just men, while others know they’re special because of their “glow” (there are no wings or haloes!). Why does artwork use the women with wings? This is typical of many of the things people say about the Bible: They haven’t actually read it, or spent the time to see what Scripture really says!!