#DailyDevotion Where do you stand on Wickedness?
Read Zech 4:1—5:11
Zec 4:12-14 And a second time I answered and said to him, “What are these two branches of the olive trees, which are beside the two golden pipes from which the golden oil is poured out?” (13) He said to me, “Do you not know what these are?” I said, “No, my lord.” (14) Then he said, “These are the two anointed ones who stand by the Lord of the whole earth.”
Zec 5:7-11 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.”
Who are these two anointed ones? Well we aren’t given a clear answer. We see in Revelation there are also two witnesses. Rev 11:3-4 And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.” (4) These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. These could be many different things or people. In the context it could be Zerubbabel and Ezra or Zechariah as they stood beside the Lord in the rebuilding of the Temple and Jerusalem. I think it is John the Baptist and Jesus who indeed were martyred and were the prophets, priests and King. It could also be pastors and laity as we are anointed by the Holy Spirit to bring witness to the world of Jesus and his salvation. Whoever they are, they bear witness to Jesus and call the world to repent of their wickedness and trust in the good news, Jesus of Nazareth has made peace between men and the Father by the pouring out of his blood, his life.
“Wickedness” in the basket is also seen in Revelation. She is the whore of Babylon in Rev. 11, 16-18. Rev 17:5 And on her forehead was written a name of mystery: “Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth’s abominations.” It represents mankind’s rebellion against the Lord after the flood. Nimrod and the people building a tower up the heavens to lift themselves above God, this is wickedness. It is not meant to be a geographical location but symbolic of our ancient sin, trying to surpass God and be God. This “Wickedness” or “Babylon the Great” is the world system. It seeks world domination to enslave the peoples, to treat them like commodities; it seeks its own pleasure at the cost of people’s lives. It opposes the saints of God because we expose her shame and call her and her followers to repent of their sin and trust in the Lord.
We know those who follow the world’s system will oppose all those who preach the truth. They will persecute and if able to put them to death. When we preach against all forms of greed, covetousness or against the lust which compels their lives they seek our death. When we preach the good news we are forgiven because of Jesus’ sacrifice, they still rail against us because it reminds them of their sin and the perverseness keeps them from giving it up.
Lord Jesus Christ, grant us your Holy Spirit that we may bear witness to your life to the world around us and grant us endurance in the midst of persecution that we may not lose the gift you have given us. Amen.