The Coming of the King
By Moses Marji
Zechariah 9: 9-17
Key Verse 9: 9
“Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt the foal of a donkey”
I thank God for his continuous grace and mercy in our lives amid a difficult time in mankind’s history. I know that our Lord is a sovereign God. He is in control of all situations. He is in control over diseases and over our lives. I pray that people move closer to God during this time and with repentance, draw nearer to the kingdom of God. May God plan peace in people’s hearts instead of panic and fear. And may God lead the community of believers to shepherd and lead others towards the Lord. I see God’s grace in this situation which can lead many to draw nearer to him.
Last week we started the study of chapter 9. M. Mark went over the first part of the chapter from verse 1-8 which was a judgment on Israel’s enemies. He touched on the fact that God used Alexander the great to punish these nations and many cities in modern Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, from Hamath in the North to Damascus turning to the coastal cities of Tyre and Sidon down on the southern coast to the Philistines cities of Ashkelon, Ekron, Gaza and Ashdod. I want to add to this first part of the chapter two important points; the first point, is how God spared Jerusalem and God’s people from Alexander the great during that time. This king was a ruthless man who punished the people of the areas he conquered. He only spared Judea at that time because of God’s intervention. According to the historical records, he even respected the high priest and gave an offering to the God of Israel in Jerusalem. The other point that I wanted to share is the type of sins that these cities committed before God. The Amorites, the Phoenicians and the Philistines did not have God in their midst. They lived their lives without God. Their sins where exposed very clearly the more they prospered. The more they became skillful and professional in the world the more they showed the abuse of power, the materialism and the pride in their accomplishments. At that point they established themselves, and most likely they looked down at the Jewish people who just came back to a desolate land with a destroyed Jerusalem city and ruined temple. They looked and pride themselves of their own accomplishments. They did not give any credit to the creator God, instead their worldly success made them alienate God from the picture and follow human rules and kings in their worldly affairs. A king who was greater than their kings came, overpowered them and destroyed all their accomplishments. The same way God used Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon to punish the Israelites for their idolatry against God, he used Alexander the great to punish these nations because of their selfish lives and their sins against God. Despite all the sins that the people in this world committed including God’s own people, he still committed to his promises and gave a breath of hope to his people. The time when God poured his anger on his people is finished and now came the time of restoration for them. The next part of this chapter is leading us to see God’s restoration of his people.
Through the second part on this chapter in verses 9-13, the prophet Zechariah gives the good news of the coming of Zion’s King, Jesus Christ. Look at our Key verse 9 “Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt the foal of a donkey” This prophecy took place when Jesus Christ came to the world and died on the cross to save us from sin and death and give us hope in the kingdom of God. Jesus is described in four ways as a king. This king is righteous, Jesus was fully obedient to the will of God and he fulfilled his mission on earth accordingly. This king is victorious, Jesus challenged Satan’s kingdom and won over sin and death as he defeated death and was raised. This king is lowly. Isaiah 53:7 describes clearly how Jesus was lowly, it says “He was oppressed and afflicted yet he did not open his mouth, he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.” Jesus did not open his mouth and he was silent despite the sufferings that he went through. This King was a humble king, riding on a donkey reflects a humble king compared to worldly kings as Alexander who rode on a chariot with multiple horses. These are the characters of a king who saves, a king who is gentle and humble. Jesus lived humility from day to day. We need to struggle and live humility in our lives. We need to strive to reach there. It is not an easy way, but it is the right direction. All of us fall in our own types of pride, but we need to recognize our pride. Sometimes we mistake our own pride as act of humility. We can be sincere with ourselves and check our hearts and live humility in our lives. I pray that all of us continue to learn humility from our Lord Jesus Christ.
Look at verse 10 “I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the warhorses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.” Jesus is a different king compared to worldly kings. His message is a message of peace proclaiming the good news of salvation to all creation. This message is not only to the Jews, but it is also to all peoples from all nations and to the ends of the earth. This is a time of mercy and grace which we are still living under. We have been living in this time of mercy and grace for the last 2000 years since the coming of our Lord to this world. Jesus became the path of salvation for those who repent and accept him in their hearts as their personal savior. Jesus did not need warhorses or bows for this battle. Jesus’ weapon is the word. Jesus himself is the weapon that guide us to promote peace with God. Until now and until the second coming of our Lord, our weapon is the true word of God that shines many hearts and defeats the kingdom of Satan with its power. May God help each follower of Christ to use this weapon and engage in this spiritual warfare to win souls to the kingdom of God.
We can see God’s fulfillment of his promises in the next two verse. Verses 11 & 12 read “As for you, because of the blood of my covenant with you, I will free your prisoners from the waterless pit. Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope, even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you” Our God is Almighty and a great God. One of the characters of God is that he is a stable God who does not change his words or his promises. God had a blood covenant with the Israelites since he chose Abraham to be the father of his people. And this was blood covenant that God kept and fulfilled. God fulfill his part of the covenant even when we fall short of our part. So, I rather have a covenant with God at anytime compared to having a covenant with my sinful fellow Man, because God is a God of fulfillment and he always fulfill his part. God is also a God of freedom. In the old times rulers used to put a prisoner in a dry well or deep dry pit. The prisoner will not be able to do anything and will end up dying slowly. Being a prisoner to our own sins in Satan’s Kingdom is just like that. God promised his people as they return to him, he will restore them and bless them twice as much. All what they needed to do was to trust God and return to him. We are in this generation since the first coming of our Lord Jesus. We are prisoners in our sins. We have the hope of the kingdom of God and eternal life that we carry with us. This hope is the moving factor for us to keep us going in this world that is under control of Satan. We need to keep this hope burning in our hearts despite any situation that we go through until we reach through the path of salvation to be fully liberated and live with our Lord forever. Amen.
Look at verse 13 “I will bend Judah as I bend my bow and fill it with Ephraim. I will rouse your sons, Zion, against your sons, Greece, and make you like a warrior’s sword.” The theologians have two interpretations to this verse. I will mention both. If you remember I mentioned that Alexander the great, respected the Jewish religion and their traditions. He even made a sacrifice. But after him around 200 years before the coming of the Christ, the descendants of Alexander stopped the Jews from practicing their worship to God. As a result a group of Jewish warriors,, called Maccabees, rebelled against the Greek rulers and got their independence to create the Hasmonaean dynasty until the coming of Herod the great who was from an Arab descent the year 37 BC and married a Hasmonaean queen to be accepted by the Jews. The other interpretation is the mission work that started from Judea through the disciples of Jesus Christ and spread to Greece which represented the Gentiles. And I am leaning towards this second interpretation which flows with the rest of the verses we were studying, because once God restored his people to him, he finally used them for their rightful role to preach the gospel to the rest of the world through the disciples of Jesus. to all the Gentiles and fulfill his mission to the ends of the earth. Until now we are still in this phase of God’s grace. We need to use this period to spread the gospel to all peoples of all nations. May God use each one of us as part of his redemptive work.
Once the work of redemption is fulfilled, the second coming of our Lord happens. We will go over verses 14 -17 which describes the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ. Look at verse 14 “The LORD will appear over them; his arrow will flash like lightning. The Sovereign LORD will sound the trumpet; he will march in the storm of the south.” The appearance of the LORD when he comes this time is completely different from his humble appearance riding on a donkey that we studied earlier. Our LORD comes in his glory this time. He comes with glory fully appearing to all creation. Jesus comes this time with the arrow of his gospel flashing like the light. His truth is swift and fast and can penetrate the hearts with its power. You remember that God’s people are prisoners of hope and Jesus Christ liberates us. This is the time when our LORD himself sounds the trumpet to fully release us from this world to join him. This is the sound of the trumpet to gather his spiritual warriors for the last battle that will destroy Satan and his influence forever. It is a very glorious time we wait for. The sound of the trumpet is a sound of music and jubilation to the believers who are ready with their full liberation to join the LORD’s army for the final battle.
Look at verse 15 & 16 “and the LORD Almighty will shield them. They will drink and roar as with wine; they will be full like a bowl used for sprinkling the corners of the alter. The LORD their God will save his people on that day as a shepherd saves his flock. They will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown.” The beauty of being on the side of God is that he will protect us. God’s people had covenant with God, and he will defend them. The people of God will be victorious with the LORD Almighty and will celebrate their victory. In the old testament when a sacrifice is slaughtered on the alter, the blood goes to the four corners of the alter and it is collected with bowls. I don’t believe here that God’s people will drink the blood of their enemies as the old practices of the pagans when they come victorious against their enemies. Drinking blood is mentioned in the bible once when Jesus told his disciples to drink this blood in remembrance of him. So, it is symbolic that God’s people will be with their LORD in commitment and one side. God is also reminding us that this is his battle, it is his war and not our war. Therefore, he will save us on that day as a shepherd saves his flock. With that victory God’s people will be exalted with the LORD and become princes in heaven. God will exalt his people and lift them up.
Verse 17 reads “How attractive and beautiful they will be! Grain will make the young men thrive, and new wine the young women” God is so good to us that he sent his one and only son Jesus Christ to save us. Jesus became the path of salvation. Jesus took our sins and removed it from us. Sin makes us not attractive and ugly, but Jesus clothed us with righteousness because of his blood that washed our sins away. Then we became attractive and beautiful. How good is our LORD! His goodness surpasses our imagination and our understanding. God will always provide for his people and lead them to a beautiful life of fulfillment.
I will emphasize again that it is a scary thought to be on the other side against God. Being God’s enemy lead us to destruction. God’s enemies are those who don’t have God in their lives. It does not matter what they accomplished in their lives and how skillful they are. At the end all the worldly glory will perish, and they will perish with it. On the other hand, God’s people who wait patiently, will receive their reward and become part of God’s army. They will become like Jewels in the crown very precious to God. May God be with each one of us to be on the right side of the spiritual battle and follow God against his enemies. May God lead us to be part of God’s redemptive work actively. May God help us learn the humility of our LORD and live humility in our lives. Amen.