In the first chapter of the book by Zechariah's name, there in the Old Testament, Zack tells the story in the first chapter of his first vision. It happens on the 24th day of the 11th month, which on the modern calendar would be...my birthday :) But, this is the Jewish calendar, and quite a few hundred years before I was born. Zack saw a man riding on a red horse standing among the Myrtle trees there in the bottom land. The man was a Spirit, an angel, and behind him were other riders on paint horses. Zack asked the angel who these angels were and was obviously wondering where they were going. The angel told him that they were on a reconnaissance mission from God. Then the re-con angels gave their report to the Commanding angel, reporting that they had checked and the whole earth was at rest. By rest, we see in the next few verses that the angel is referring to a state of ease. The heathen nations had taken God's people captive, where they had been for years, and now they were content and secure in the fact that they held God's people spoiled. The enemy felt comfortable in all the havoc they had caused- No problems - Secure in war - at peace.
Zechariah 1:12-13 Then the angel of the LORD answered and said, O LORD of
hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of
Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years?
And the LORD answered the angel that talked with me with good words and
The commanding angel then calls out to God directly, asking God the same question we want to ask in the face of oppression. He asked how long God was going to sit still and allow His people to suffer, without mercy. Zack does not tell us that God was present. He does not mention God being there in the Myrtles, before the commanding angel asked God what the plan was. Apparantly, God was there all along, before the army of angels arrived to report. It seems that Zack had been praying, and God gave him this vision to remind him that there was a time limit to the trial. God answered that the nation of Israel was to be restored now, after the 70 years of captivity...just like Job was restored. His trial had a time limit. In this case, God let Zack know that the captivity was coming to an end.
This is a remarkable picture of God's presence. When I see Myrtle Trees, I think of Zechariah's vision, and remember that God was with Zack, when the angels showed up to report to God. They had to come to Zack's house to talk to God. Imagine that! "Forward my calls to Zack's house for the next hour. "Can you hear God telling the angels that? "Hello, God...come on in. I was just making a cup of tea...sit a spell."