King's Business - 1968-10

T he portion for our present consideration is Zechariah 9:1-10 (ASV), which reads as fol­ lows :

The burden of the word of the Lord upon the land of Hadrach, and Damascus shall be its resting-place (for the eye of man and of all the tribes of Israel is toward the Lord ); and Hamath, also, which bordereth thereon; Tyre and Sidon, because they are very wise. And Tyre did build herself a stronghold, and heaped up silver as the dust, and fine gold as the mire of the streets. Behold, the Lord will dispossess her, and he will smite her power in the sea; and she shall be devoured with fire. Ashkelon shall see it, and fear; Gaza also, and shall be sore pained; and Ekron, for her expectation shall be put to shame; and the king shall perish from Gaza, and Ashkelon shall not be inhabited. And a bastard shall dwell in Ashdod, and I will cut off the pride of the Philistines. And I will take away his blood out of his mouth, and his abominations from between his teeth; and he also shall be a remnant for our God; and he shall be as a chieftain in Judah, and Ekron as a Jebusite. And I will encamp about my house against the army, that none pass through them any more: for now have I seen with mine eyes. Rejoice greatly, 0 daughter of Zion; shout, 0 daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy king cometh unto thee; he is just, and having salvation; low­ ly, and riding upon an ass, even upon a colt the foal of an ass. And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem; and the battle bow shall be cut off; and he shall speak peace unto the na­ tions: and his dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.

two martial scenes, verses 9 and 10 furnish us a short sketch, a thumbnail sketch, o f God’s plan for lasting and permanent peace. Zechariah clearly gives us all the elements of the program. He points out, first of all, THE AGENT OF PEACE. The prophet calls upon all in the nation to re­ joice and shout. The coming of this One is not attended with fear for His people, as was so often the case with foreign invaders. His advent is the cause for great rejoicing. It should be remembered that God never asks man to rejoice in this world’s fleeting pleasures. Israel, as she sees the approach o f the King o f Peace, is enjoined to great exulta­ tion. The One coming is designated as Israel’s King, her very own, the long-awaited, long-prom­ ised, long-prophesied One. He comes to Israel, that is, He is o f Israel as to the flesh, but He appears to them from the Father (Romans 1:3, 4). And not only to them, but, as the original wording will allow, for them, for their eternal good. His coming is not for His own profit or self-aggrandizement, as with earthly rulers. If one were to inquire o f a normal congregation the three characteristics o f a suitable world ruler, they would present qualifications far different from the ones the Spirit of God foretells here. First and foremost, He will be just or righteous. The prime and indispensable prerequisite in a true ruler and the foundation principle for true and lasting peace is righteousness. He is altogether righteous. There is an unbreakable link between righteousness and peace. Isaiah (32:17, ASV) stated: “And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness, quietness and confidence for ever.” (Compare also Psalm 45:6, 7; Isaiah 11:3-5); and Jeremiah 23:5.) He is animated in every act by righteousness. How odious to God is an unjust and unrighteous ruler. Peace must be grounded and founded in justice. This King Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, will act accordingly. Furthermore, the coming King, the Agent of peace, will be vitally related to the question of TH E KINO'S BUSINESS

The first eight verses o f this passage set forth the conquests o f Alexander the Great. Coming from Greece, he marched down the Phoenician and Pal­ estinian coast, capturing in turn Damascus, Sidon, Tyre, and Gaza. Neither the Phoenicians, nor the Syrians, nor the Philistines escaped the rod of his wrath. But he passed by Jerusalem more than once without harming it, a manifest token o f God’s protection o f His land, His temple, and His people. The prophet Zechariah now, by the prophetic law o f suggestion, is directed of the Spirit o f God to see a still greater deliverance for his people and the nations of the world. The prophets of God were so filled with expectations of the Messiah that they turned from every deliverance, no matter how small or insignificant, to the last and greatest of all. From an earthly conqueror o f great ruthless­ ness and military prowess, Alexander the Great, Zechariah gazes upon the coming King o f the whole earth. The remaining verses of the chap­ ter (w . 11-17) are occupied with the Maccabean Wars of the second century B.C. Inserted between 12

Made with FlippingBook - Online catalogs