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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Barcus & Laura Neal

July 2nd, 2023: Peace to the Nations- Zechariah 9:9-17

Zechariah prophesied during the same time as Haggai - approx 520-518 BC. He gave us a book loaded with prophecy and images from the rebuilding of the Temple and Jerusalem to the arrival of the Messiah. In the book of Zechariah, we are given prophecies regarding the first and second coming of Jesus Christ. The captivity was nearing an end and the first group of exiles were being sent back to Jerusalem. The Kingdom of Babylon had been overthrown by the Medo-Persian Empire. Let's apply the truth of God’s words toward His people to our lives today. Pray God will open your heart to blessing and instruction.

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.

This verse should ring a bell with every New Testament Bible student. Five hundred years plus will pass before the fulfillment of this prophecy. Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday over coats and palm branches placed before Him in praise and honor.

On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord. And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written, Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt. These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him (John 12:12-16).

When Jesus triumphantly entered Jerusalem, His followers expected a far different result than His intended mission. They were looking for their earthly King. The true King, their King of Peace, most of all a King to break the rule of Rome over them. Zechariah tells of this first appearance of the king, but then he goes even farther into the future with the next verses.

10 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 heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.

Peace. We are still looking for peace. No more war, no more sickness, no more harm, hurt, pain, or evil. God tells Zechariah that He will cut off the battle bow and speak peace even to the non-Jewish peoples. He will bring ultimate peace to all of the earth. Isaiah also shared this vision. Peace, we often believe, comes by negotiation and appeasement, but the peace Christ will bring will be a result of his absolute might and righteous power. There will be no question that He has the authority to vanquish his enemies and cause an end to all opposition from unbelievers.

And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord;

Have you ever observed a new tree growing out of an old stump? Similarly, out of the sin-cursed lineage of King David, our Savior Jesus came in His earthly body. But unlike his family tree, He rose from the dead with eternal life. Because He is the everlasting Son of God, the “fullness of the Godhead bodily,” Jesus will have the answers that we need. His rule will indeed be wise and just, successful and God-honoring.

And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

He will make the heathen, mentioned above, to have quick understanding, because Christ has the ability to see the hearts of men and women and will never be fooled by an outward show of self-righteousness. As always, God defends the defenseless, He will call to account the behavior of those who in greed and lust take advantage of the poor. Again, He will breathe the words that will slay his enemies. There is no refuge in which those who oppose the Lord Jesus Christ will find to retreat, He will rule the Earth, as He does the universe He created with precision, perfection and peace.

And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.

The girdle holds together the entire wardrobe, a defining characteristic of the rule of King Jesus, is that He will always do the right thing. No accusation of impartiality or poor judgment could ever rightly be raised against Him. The girdle of His reigns refers to the power held in perfect control that will be the hallmark of his character. He will be faithful to keep the promises, both to His friends and to His enemies, that are recorded in His word.

The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. (Isaiah 11:1-12).

This Kingdom did not immediately follow the triumphant entry of Christ in Jerusalem, but born-again believers are citizens of that kingdom already. Our first loyalty and our dearest citizenship belong to our King Jesus. There will be a second return of the Messiah, and at that time He will indeed set up his kingdom.

In the meanwhile, the spirit of antichrist and the antichrist himself will promise peace and entice people with peace. But that peace is a lie, and its purchase price is the eternal punishment of the souls of men. Christ’s kingdom is unmistakable and it will fulfill, not compromise away, the truth of the Bible. Don’t fall for the deception of the evil one. Be aware, the true King is coming. His reign will be glorious.

As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water. Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even to day do I declare that I will render double unto thee;

The people of Israel are covenant people. God will eternally keep His promises to them, and His faithful people will always be rewarded. Sacrifices with a purpose. They are indeed prisoners of hope. We walk by faith - all of our hope is in Jesus. The same is true for Israel. Their hope will not be in vain.

When I have bent Judah for me, filled the bow with Ephraim, and raised up thy sons, O Zion, against thy sons, O Greece, and made thee as the sword of a mighty man. And the Lord their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people: for they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon his land.

In Daniel's vision, he saw the world powers. The champion of Greece, Alexander the Great , and his kingdom were depicted. There are significant historical accounts of how Alexander the Great met and dealt with the priests in Jerusalem. God did in fact save them from Alexander the Great. God worked both ends of that situation to make Israel a crown. Josephus’ account of Alexander’s meeting with the high priest is fascinating (this is taken from Josephus’s Antiquities 11.8.4-5):

Now Alexander, when he had taken Gaza, made haste to go up to Jerusalem; and Jaddua the high-priest, when he heard that, was in agony, and under terror, as not knowing how he should meet the Macedonians, since the king was displeased at his foregoing disobedience. He therefore ordained that the people should make supplications, and should join with him in offering sacrifices to God, whom he besought to protect that nation, and to deliver them from the perils that were coming upon them; whereupon God warned him in a dream, which came upon him after he had offered sacrifice, that he should take courage, adorn the city, and open the gates; that the rest appear in white garments, but that he and the priests should meet the king in habits proper to their order, without the dread of any ill consequences, which the providence of God would prevent. Upon which, when he rose from his sleep, he greatly rejoiced; and declared to all the warning he had received from God. According to the dream he acted entirely, and so waited for the coming of the king.

And when he understood that he was not far from the city, he went out in procession, with the priests and the multitude of the citizens. The procession was venerable, and the manner of it different from that of other nations. It reached to a place called Sapha; which name, translated in Greek, signifies a prospect, for you have thence a prospect both of Jerusalem and of the temple; and when the Phoenicians and the Chaldeans that followed him, thought they should have liberty to plunder the city, and torment the high-priest to death, which the king’s displeasure fairly promised them, the very reverse of it happened; for Alexander, when he saw the multitude at a distance, in white garments, while the priests stood clothed with fine linen, and the high-priest in purple and scarlet clothing, with his mitre on his head having the golden plate on which the name of God was engraved, he approached by himself, and adored that name, and first saluted the high-priest. The Jews also did all together, with one voice, salute Alexander, and encompass him about: whereupon the kings of Syria and the rest were surprised at what Alexander had done, and supposed him to be disordered in his mind. However, Parmenio [Alexander’s second-in-command] alone went up to him, and asked him how it came to pass, that when all others adored him, he should adore the high-priest of the Jews? To whom he replied, “I did not adore him, but that God who has honored him with that high-priesthood; for I saw this very person in a dream, in this very habit, when I was at Dios, in Macedonia, who, when I was considering with myself how I might obtain the dominion of Asia, exhorted me to make no delay, but boldly to pass over the sea thither, for that he would conduct my army, and would give me dominion over the Persians; whence it is, that having seen no other in that habit, and now seeing this person in it, and remembering my vision and the exhortation which I had in my dream, I believe that I bring this army under divine conduct, and shall therewith conquer Darius, and destroy the power of the Persians, and that all things will succeed according to what is in my own mind.” And when he had said this to Parmenio, and had given the high-priest his right hand, the priests ran along by him, and he came into the city; and when he went up into the temple, he offered sacrifice to God, according to the high-priest’s direction, and magnificently treated both the high-priest and the priests. And when the book of Daniel was showed him, wherein Daniel declared that one of the Greeks should destroy the empire of the Persians, he supposed that himself was the person intended; and as he was then glad, he dismissed the multitude for the present, but the next day he called them to him, and bade them ask what favors they pleased of him: whereupon the high-priest desired that they might enjoy the laws of their forefathers, and might pay no tribute on the seventh year. He granted all they desired: and when they entreated him that he would permit the Jews in Babylon and Media to enjoy their own laws also, he willingly promised to do hereafter what they desired: and when he said to the multitude, that if any of them would enlist themselves in his army on this condition, that they should continue under the laws of their forefathers, and live according to them, he was willing to take them with him, many were ready to accompany him in his wars.

Also, in the description of the New Heaven and the New Earth in the book of the Revelation, God creates the foundations of his perfect city with the colored jewels that represent the twelve tribes of Israel, illustrating just how much He loves and values His people.

When Christ reigns, whether we are talking about in our hearts and lives currently,or in his kingdom that will be established after his second coming, we will experience peace, gladness, and fulfillment that our imaginations can’t come close to comprehending. As John says in Revelation 21, “Come Quickly!”

Thank you for studying with us! God bless!



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