Zechariah Devotional, part 4: God’s Plans Are Greater Than Our Expectations

Cattle stockyard. Mendota, California.Zechariah 2 I lifted up mine eyes again, and looked, and behold a man with a measuring line in his hand.

Then said I, Whither goest thou? And he said unto me, To measure Jerusalem, to see what is the breadth thereof, and what is the length thereof.

And, behold, the angel that talked with me went forth, and another angel went out to meet him,

And said unto him, Run, speak to this young man, saying, Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls for the multitude of men and cattle therein:

For I, saith the Lord, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her.

The second chapter of Zechariah continues with a series of word-pictures, symbolizing what God has in store for His people.

There is a man with a measuring line, a method of measuring the city, similar in use to a yardstick.  Why is he measuring the city?  He’s apparently measuring the size of the new city, which will be much greater than anyone would think[i].

They have been scattered and abused by nations like Assyria and Babylon, but God is her Builder.  Although only small remnant was allowed by the Persian Emperor Cyrus to return and rebuild the city, and the rebuilding seems at this stage quite pitiful compared to its former splendor, God’s building plans are far larger than the remnants’ imagination.  Human ability seems weak, but God is planning to bless His holy city to such an extent that it will have too many people and cattle living in it to be contained within walls!

Isn’t it true that the churches of Jesus Christ in our day and age seem to be small and few?  Is there not a small remnant calling upon the name of the Lord?  But God’s plans for His people are much bigger than our imagination.  Even today, the good news of forgiveness of sins and reconciliation with God is going forth throughout the nations.  And knowing what a great God we have, don’t think for a minute that God can’t do it right within our midst!  His plans for us are greater and more abundant than anything we can expect or think.

Ho, ho, come forth, and flee from the land of the north, saith the Lord: for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heaven, saith the Lord.

Deliver thyself, O Zion, that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon.

For thus saith the Lord of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.

For, behold, I will shake mine hand upon them, and they shall be a spoil to their servants: and ye shall know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me.

Although the world has troubled God’s holy people, just a shaking of His hand over them will be their undoing.  God will continue to bring back the rest of His people who are exiled in faraway Babylon, and join them to His flock in Jerusalem.  And all those who held them in bondage will suffer for their crimes, for God is a God whose jealous love burns hotly for His people whom He loves.

Even in our day and age, God has His chosen people scattered here and there, whom He is bringing into blessed and sweet communion with His Church, His holy Bride.  Whoever they are, wherever they are, wherever they came from, he will bring them out of their captivity to sin and the thrall of Satan to enjoy the blessed fellowship of the redeemed, in His own timing.  And He is doing this even now.  We can be assured that all the purposes of our great God will be accomplished in this.  The sins will be purged away and Satan will pay for his crimes against God’s elect for holding them under his sway, until the day of their blessed deliverance, when grace made them alive and they were made willing and able to respond positively to the savory gospel promises by the work of the Holy Spirit within them.

10 Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord.

11 And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto thee.

12 And the Lord shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again.

13 Be silent, O all flesh, before the Lord: for he is raised up out of his holy habitation. 

Here the promise and fulfillment come together in description in a prophetic song of victory.  This is one of those choice and delicious passages of the Old Testament which triumphantly proclaims God’s grace pervading the nations—not only one nation.  There will come a day, says the prophet Zechariah, when the grace of God will extend beyond national lines, to join nations which have not known Him unto His people.  “Many nations,” says he, “will be joined to the LORD”, to be “my people”!  That is, they will come and be citizens of Jerusalem, in the midst of which He dwells.

We can all be thankful for God’s grace in saving not only one nation, but some of every nation, including ourselves!  And He made us all one in Christ.  We see this mighty action of God having worked itself out in history through the proclamation of the gospel and the effectual application of it to many souls by the Holy Spirit across the entire globe from shore to shore to shore.  There is scarcely a nation or a language on the entire earth today in which the Father is not worshiped in the name of His Son Jesus Christ.  And let us be sure that He is not finished yet.  He is adding yet more to the number of the redeemed, to the citizenry of that Holy City which shall never pass away.

[i] Some Insights gained from the ESV Study Bible

Categories: Bible, Pastoral, The Church | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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