Zechariah 8 – God’s Intent to Restore Jerusalem & Angkor Wat

Many things of ancient time are a mystery to us today.  Since our own world is a mystery to us, how can anyone question if anything about You is a mystery?

If people want to know You, they just need to spend more time with You.

“Draw nigh to God and he will draw nigh to you.  Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded” (Jas 4:8).

The next great empire of Medieval Asia I would like to look at is…

The photographs below are not connected to the Bible in any way.  Yet, the talent it takes to perform the items only can only come from God.  These are amazing.

International 
Mosaiculture  Exhibition
Montreal – Summer 2013

Even if you’re not into gardening yourself, the plant sculptures in the international Montreal Mosaiculture Exhibition will blow your mind.

As defined in the official website of the event, mosaiculture “is a refined horticultural art that involves creating and mounting living artworks made primarily from plants with colorful foliage (generally annuals, and occasionally perennials).”

It is also a highly complex form of art, requiring different sets of skills from all the participating artists: not only do they have to plan and build the framework of the sculpture and match the colors, it is also important to understand the maintenance of each plant they use.

The Mosaïcultures International competition was founded back in 2000 by Lise Cormier after her visit to China: this is where Lisa saw an enchanting 40-feet-high sculpture of 3 doves and was instantly inspired to bring the idea back home.

Considered the world’s most prestigious competition of horticultural art, the 2013 edition of Mosaiculture is currently on display at Montreal Botanical Garden in Quebec, Canada.

More than three million flowers were raised in greenhouses throughout Quebec, and then shipped to the gardens in May, where designers wrapped them in steel meshes to create living works of art.

The sculptures are created using steel or aluminum forms that are wrapped in metal mesh, filled with earth and planted with flowers, ivies and grasses whose foliage provides texture and color.

Interior watering systems and growing medium were added so that the flowers could last all through the summer till the end of the exhibition on September 29.

Some 50 works graces the 2.2 km circuit through the enchanting grounds of the Botanical Garden.

The theme this year is “Land of Hope”. About 200 of the world’s most talented horticultural artists are taking part in this international competition, representing 20 countries. Entries have come from cities in countries as far as Turkey and Uganda, with China and Japan heavily represented.

Zechariah 8
God’s Intent to Restore Jerusalem

1 Again the word of the LORD of hosts came to me, saying,

8:1-23 – ten promises of blessing, each beginning with “Thus saith the LORD [of hosts].”

2 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury.

3 Thus saith the LORD; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain.

4 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age.

5 And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof.

Barn Owl

6 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If it be marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, should it also be marvelous in mine eyes? saith the LORD of hosts.

7 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country;

8 And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness.

9 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Let your hands be strong, ye that hear in these days these words by the mouth of the prophets, which were in the day that the foundation of the house of the LORD of hosts was laid, that the temple might be built.

10 For before these days there was no hire for man, nor any hire for beast; neither was there any peace to him that went out or came in because of the affliction: for I set all men every one against his neighbor.

11 But now I will not be unto the residue of this people as in the former days, saith the LORD of hosts.

Bird Tree. This huge sculpture is 40 feet high and they built special high bridge at this end so people could take photographs more easily. Every branch becomes a different bird. The wing span of the condor must be at least 8 feet.

12 For the seed shall be prosperous; the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground shall give her increase, and the heavens shall give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things.

13 And it shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah, and house of Israel; so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing: fear not, but let your hands be strong.

14 For thus saith the LORD of hosts; As I thought to punish you, when your fathers provoked me to wrath, saith the LORD of hosts, and I repented not:

15 So again have I thought in these days to do well unto Jerusalem and to the house of Judah: fear ye not.

16 These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbor; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates:

8:16-17 – such moral and ethical behavior sums up the character of those who are in covenant relationship with the Lord.

Big Flowers. These are growing in the midst of the Exhibition Gardens, some of the thirty gardens which comprise the Botanic Garden. Notice the bee.

17 And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbor; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the LORD.

18 And the word of the LORD of hosts came unto me, saying,

19 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; The fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, shall be to the house of Judah joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts; therefore love the truth and peace.

20 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities:

21 And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts: I will go also.

22 Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD.

23 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.

Angkor Wat

The five terraced towers of Angkor Wat’s central shrine represent the five peaks of Mount Meru.

Mysterious Angkor Wat, strangled in jungle vines, became a romantic symbol of lost civilizations to Westerners in the 19th century.  It was never, of course, truly lost: Buddhist pilgrims and stray European explorers had been visiting the temple complex for centuries. 

But when the French became the colonial rulers in Cambodia in the 1860’s, their archaeologists and artists brought the world’s attention to the remote site and it’s spectacular, crumbling buildings.

A 13th century Khmer relief depicts Shiva and his wife, Devi.

Enclosed by a wall 2.2 miles long and a wide moat, the temple was the world’s largest religion complex.  Its sandstone blocks were held together without mortar, and its central shrine represented Mount Meru, the sacred Hindu mountain.

Miles of sinuous sacred and historical bas-reliefs covered walls and passageways. Much of the complex had fallen to rubble since the Khmer Empire vanished.

French archaeologists set to work in the late civilization. In 1994, the area was even scanned by radar from the space shuttle Endeavour. Scientists believe that many more artifacts of ancient Khmer culture remain to be found.

…the Mongols.