“Is this not the Carpenter?”

I read this piece by Amy Carmichael this morning.  Sometimes her language can feel a bit stilted, but it’s always worth it to me to plow through.  This one is on an obscure–at least, I would consider it obscure–passage in Zechariah, chapter 1, verses 18-21.  Here are verses 18-19: “And I lifted my eyes and saw, and behold, four horns!  And I said to the angel who talked with me, ‘What are these?’  And he answered me, ‘These are the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.'”

Amy comments:

“I see such difficulties, I hardly know how to go on.”  Most of us have said this, or felt it, at one time or another.  We have it here: “I lifted up my eyes, and saw, and behold four horns.”  “I saw . . . four horns’–those powers that scatter and shatter and spoil, the cruel powers that blast good work, and discourage souls, ‘so that no man did lift up his head”–“I saw” them.  [The Scripture passage continues:] “And the Lord showed me four carpenters”–those powers that put right what is wrong, that frighten away, terrify the evil powers–“the Lord showed me” them.
       We see the horns ourselves, but until the Lord opens our eyes we do not see the carpenters, and yet they are as truly present as the horns.
       “All power is given to Me in Heaven and in earth . . . .and lo, I am with you always” [Mt 28:18,20]–“all the days and all the day long.”  “Is this not the Carpenter?” [Mk 6.3]

“Is this not the Carpenter?” . . .

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