The Daily Devotion is taking from the updated edition of Morning by Morning.

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September 26

During the night I had a vision — and there before me was a man riding a red horse! He was standing among the myrtle trees in a ravine.
Zechariah 1:8

By the pen of Charles Spurgeon:

Zechariah’s vision describes the condition of Israel in his day but may also be interpreted as prophecy describing God’s church today. The church is described as flourishing “myrtle trees in a ravine.” The trees, by virtue of being “in a ravine,” were hidden, unseen, and thus, were not seeking any honor for themselves or attracting any attention from a casual observer. The church, like Jesus her head, has glory, but it is concealed today from human eyes, for the time of the church being revealed in all her splendor has not yet come.

The vision also suggests the idea of tranquil security, for the myrtle trees lie in the calm, peaceful ravine, while storms sweep across mountain summits. Violent winds bear down on the craggy peaks of the Alps, but down below “there is a river whose streams make glad the city of God” (Ps. 46:4). The myrtles flourish “beside quiet waters” (Ps. 23:2), unshaken by the raging wind.

Thus, how great is the inner tranquility of God’s church! Even when opposed and persecuted, she has a “peace . . . not . . . as the world gives” (John 14:27) and, thus, which the world cannot take away. It is “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding” and which “will guard [the] hearts and . . . minds” (Phil. 4:7) of God’s people.

The vision strongly portrays the peaceful, yet perpetual, growth of God’s saints. Just as the myrtle does not shed its leaves, the church is “evergreen,” and even in the most difficult times the church continues to have the blessed green lushness of grace about her. In fact, she appears to be the greenest during times of “winter” when the contrast of color is the sharpest, and she has prospered the most when her adversities have been the most severe.

Consequently the vision hints of victory as well, for not only is the myrtle a symbol of peace but it is also a strong symbol of triumph. In days of old, conquerors were crowned with wreaths of myrtle and laurel, and isn’t the church eternally victorious? Aren’t all believers “more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Rom. 8:37)? Thus, living in peace, the saints of God ultimately fall asleep in the arms of victory.

By the pen of Jim Reimann:

Our text today of Zechariah’s vision, of a man on a red horse standing among myrtle trees in a ravine, continues with the following:

Behind him were red, brown and white horses. I asked, “What are these, my lord?” The angel who was talking with me answered, “I will show you what they are.” Then the man standing among the myrtle trees explained, “They are the ones the Lord has sent to go throughout the earth.” And they reported to the angel of the Lord, who was standing among the myrtle trees, “We have gone throughout the earth and found the whole world at rest and in peace.”

Zechariah 1:8 – 11

Obviously, this refers to the future to come of everlasting peace. Yet, as believers, isn’t that exactly what the Lord has promised for this life, for He said, “In me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

Morning by Morning: The Devotions of Charles Spurgeon
Copyright © by James G. Reimann

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