Thursday, November 15, 2012

Zechariah 9 - The Coming King

LINK: Zechariah 9

BACKGROUND

The last six chapters were written several years after the prophecy in Zechariah 8 sometime after 480 B.C.

Zechariah begins an oracle and is probably prophesying of the march of Alexander the Great through the cities mentioned in this chapter (333 B.C.). It should be noted that Alexander spared the temple and the city of Jerusalem as 9:8 prophesied. He was God's instrument for divine judgment on Israel's enemies.

The Scarlet Thread of Redemption

Zechariah 9:9-10:12 looks toward the blessings of the Messiah who would come righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey. In the ancient Near East, if a king was coming in peace, he would ride on a donkey rather than a war stallion. This was a prophecy 500 years before Jesus' Triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1-5).
The Messiah will establish peace in His kingdom and regather Israel. 

Zechariah 9:13 to the end of the chapter probably refers to the conflict of the Maccabees (169-135 B.C.) with all the Greek rulers of Syria including Antiochus IV Epipanes that we already discussed during our reading of Daniel 11 & 12. While this is a partial fulfillment of this prophecy, the complete fulfillment will come at the Second Advent of Jesus Christ when God will care for them as a shepherd for his flock and Israel will shine in God's land like "jewels in a crown."

REFLECTION

The king is coming in our Bible reading in January or December if you want to start on Jesus' birth during Christmas.

APPLICATION

Rejoice in Your coming King this Advent season!

PRAYER

Now that you have gotten through most of the Old Testament, read (and sing) these two Advent hymns and see how much more you understand the words!

Come, Thou Long Expect Jesus 
by Charles Wesley

Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s Strength and Consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear Desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.


Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.


O Come, O Come, Emmanuel 
translated from Latin to English by John M. Neale

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.


Refrain
Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.


O come, Thou Wisdom from on high,
Who orderest all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show,
And teach us in her ways to go.


Refrain

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
From depths of hell Thy people save,
And give them victory over the grave.


Refrain

O come, Thou Day-spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.


Refrain

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.


Refrain

O come, O come, great Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes on Sinai’s height
In ancient times once gave the law
In cloud and majesty and awe.


Refrain

O come, Thou Root of Jesse’s tree,
An ensign of Thy people be;
Before Thee rulers silent fall;
All peoples on Thy mercy call.


Refrain

O come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Bid Thou our sad divisions cease,
And be Thyself our King of Peace.


Refrain

(Lyrics from http://nethymnal.org/)


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