The Good News in the Bible
|Zechariah 1:18-20 (continued)
The four living creatures which administer justice in Israel correspond to the "four sore judgments" of God (see: Ezekiel 14:21 also Rev 6:1-8) which God uses to punish and administer justice within the encampment: Sword, Famine, Pestilence, and Beast of the Earth. These curses were the covenantal punishments of God upon His unfaithful people.
The people of Israel were taken into the 70 years of captivity by the Sword of Babylon in 606 BC (?) and also died and suffered by Famine, Pestilence, and Wild Beasts during the many sieges of the cities of Israel by the Babylonish armies. These sieges were the scenes of horrible death and suffering within the remnant of God, as God punished them for their abominations of worshipping Baal and sacrificing their children to Molech and weeping for Tamuz and worshipping the Sun, Moon and the Stars. To get a further picture of how God punished Israel, the accounts of Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Lamentations, and Isaiah are replete with the covenantal warnings of God and how God administered His judgments using the terms of covenantal language and then allowed the Sea of the Gentiles to overflow the borders of the Earth of the Sanctuary encampment.
Thus God uses the nations to carry out His judgments. The angels carry out His will by either "releasing the Winds of heaven" to destroy or on the other hand by "restraining the Winds of heaven" to allow restoration and healing within Israel. Thus these angels can be represented allegorically as either "horns" to destroy or else as "carpenters" to rebuild. To read of God's gracious out stretched hand to recover and restore Israel after the 70 years of captivity, one ought to take time to prayerfully read the chapters of Zechariah from chapters 8-14. It is in these verses of poetry and prose that we see how God deals to punish and then heal using heavenly agencies to affect the affairs of nations to carry out His will on earth.