Zechariah 5 has the prophet seeing two visions form the Lord. The first involved a flying scroll. “I see a flying scroll. Its length is twenty cubits, and its width ten cubits….This is the curse that goes out over the face of the whole land”. The scroll was approximately 15 by 30 feet. It is apparently open to read because Zechariah can see how large the scroll is. The text on the scroll contains the Ten Commandments. “For everyone who steals shall be cleaned….and everyone who swears falsely…”. The two sins, one from each side of the tablets of the Ten Commandments, represent all of Israel’s sin. God will curse the people who commit these sins and their house.
God will hold us accountable for how we live. Sin carries a price. We are all guilty – scripture is clear about that. We will stand before God someday and have to give an account and explain to God about our choices. We’ll stand there unholy and in judgment. The penalty is eternal and will cause us to be separated from God unless we have received the shed blood of Christ through God’s free offer of grace that will cover all our sin and set us free. God’s scroll is still flying through the lands. We are under that reality, but we do have a way to overcome our sin today – Jesus Christ.
Zechariah then sees another vision. “This is the basket….the leaden cover was lifted, and there was a woman sitting in the basket”! The woman, the basket, and the weight are associated with wickedness. They represent greed, materialism, and dishonesty for profit. Zechariah prophesied to those who returned from the Babylonian exile. God’s people came back from Babylon with a materialism problem, and this vision speaks to this problem. God is going to fix their issue and clear the focus on stuff rather than Him.
God is sending the sin back to where it originated. God has two beings with wings and “they lifted up the basket between earth and heaven” and carried it back to Babylon. God will cause this evil, materialistic spirit to be returned to its starting-place: Babylon. There it will eventually be destroyed. The problems of the people in Zechariah’s time are the same that many of us face today. Materialism can get between us and God and make us feel self sufficient and not needing God at all. That’s a dangerous place to be, and God will remove that feeling by wiping out that which we hold so dear.