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Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Zechariah 2 : 1-13

“Then I, myself, will be a protective wall of fire around Jerusalem, says the Lord. And I will be the glory inside the city!” -Zechariah 2:5 [NLT]

Zechariah, the Prophet to Judah, encouraged God’s people to put away the sin in their lives and to continue rebuilding the Temple. His visions describe the judgment of their enemies, the blessings to Jerusalem which gives hope for the people. He emphasized that people remain pure, avoiding hypocrisy, superficial and sinful behavior. This is also a careful instruction for children of God to keep themselves pure until Christ comes again. 

The Jews in Jerusalem returned from their captivity in Babylon and their immediate goal was to rebuild the Temple, but the work was thwarted and stalled. Prophets Haggai and Zechariah confronted the people with lack of motivation in their task and encouraged them to complete it. Besides the encouragement and hope, there were warnings that God’s messianic kingdom would not begin with the Temple completed. Israel’s enemies would be judged, and the King would come, but God’s people might face difficult circumstances during the course of time.

Here, Chapter Two continues the vision started in chapter one where Jerusalem becomes the center focus of God’s promise.  Zechariah clearly reveals the future glory of the city.  The vision is about a man with a measuring line. It is interesting to know that the meaning of it was given by Zechariah in the last half of the chapter (Zec 2:6-13). God would one day dwell in her midst and many nations would be joined to the Lord.

As we read on, we see an urge to flee from Babylon. As  Zec 2:7 says, “come away, people of Zion, you who are exiled in Babylon!”  Many of the Captive Israelites did not return to Jerusalem because they had been used to the security and wealth they enjoyed in Babylon.  But Zechariah instructed them to leave Babylon quickly as it was going to be destroyed by the Lord.  Yet a vast number of Israelites remain there in spite of the warnings.  

The Lord’s doing is marvelous as we read on, “After a period of glory, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies sent me against the nations plundered you. For He said,” Anyone who harms you harms my most precious possession.  I will raise my fist to crush them and their own slaves will plunder them.”  (Zec 2:8-9). We His people are precious to God (Psalm 116:15); believers are His very own children. Treating any believer unkindly is the same as treating God that way.  As Jesus told his disciples, when we help others we are doing it unto Him and when we neglect or abuse others, we are doing it as unto Him.  (Matt.25:34-46) Be careful, therefore, how we treat fellow believers – that is the way we are treating God.   

Then the Lord says, “shout and rejoice, O beautiful Jerusalem, for I am coming to live among you.” (Zec 2:10).  One day, Jerusalem will no longer need walls, because the Lord’s presence will be in her midst with a great number of people living there.  Zechariah paints a picture of the scene on the earth, after the 2nd coming of Christ. In that day, the glory of the Messiah (Christ) will be in the midst of the city, and the Gentile nations will be joined to Israel that day (Zec 2:11). This takes place in a period known as the Millennium when Jerusalem is the elevated capital, the city from which God rules the nations. Israel and Jerusalem will prosper, and the Gentile nations will join in their prosperity.

Our Blessed Hope:

The Jerusalem which is revealed here is not the physical Jerusalem at all;

“but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all.”

(Gal. 4:26)

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