A DAY IS COMING WHEN THE LORD WILL RETURN TO PROSPER AND PROTECT JUDAH BY DWELLING IN HER EXPANDED MIDST (ESTABLISHING HIS GLORIOUS THRONE AT THE CENTER OF HER UNIVERSE)
Do we have the throne of the Lord established at the center of our universe? Or are we still sitting on the throne and trying to govern our own lives? Here the Lord shows us the glory of that future day when the presence of the Lord on His throne in Jerusalem will provide protection and prosperity for His people. The Lord will reign in glory and be a fire of protection around those who submit to His gracious rule. If we choose instead to seek our own glory we will remain vulnerable and exposed to the enemies without.
I. (:1-5) THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD WILL DOMINATE THE FUTURE RESTORATION OF EXPANDED JUDAH
A. (:1-2) Presentation of the Vision
1. (:1) The Image — Man with a Tape Measure
“Then I lifted up my eyes and looked, and behold, there was a man with a measuring line in his hand.”
2. (:2a) The Question – A Man on a Mission
“So I said, ‘Where are you going?’”
3. (:2b) The Answer – the large dimensions will be surprising
“And he said to me, ‘to measure Jerusalem, to see how wide it is and how long it is.’”
We limit God in many ways when we think that we can measure with physical tools what He is able to accomplish in a specific situation. Think of all of the times throughout the Bible where God surprised people by doing the impossible. Here God shows that it will take a different type of supernatural measuring to figure the dimensions of that Jerusalem of the future.
B. (:3-4) Prosperity of the Restored Expanded City
“And behold, the angel who was speaking with me was going out, and another angel was coming out to meet him, and said to him, ‘Run, speak to that young man, saying, Jerusalem will be inhabited without walls because of the multitude of men and cattle within it.’”
A city without walls might seem vulnerable; but not in this case;
The multitude of men and cattle speaks to the surprising prosperity of the restored city – beyond one’s imagination as they look at present circumstances.
Merrill: The second messenger, with a sense of great urgency, commands the first to run to Zechariah with the meaning of the vision. This urgency is communicated by the double imperative in Hebrew (rus dabber, “run, speak”). This can only mean that what is about to happen is imminent. Neither the messenger nor Zechariah can be slow to hear it and act upon it.
B. (:5) Presence of the Lord
1. To Sovereignly Protect
“’For I,’ declares the Lord, ‘will be a wall of fire around her’”
2. To Sovereignly Rule
“’and I will be the glory in her midst.’”
Cf. the Shekinah Glory that had departed from the temple
Roper: That is a supernatural line of defense-a wall of fire. God would protect his people. And his presence would be felt among them; the glory would return. Ezekiel had seen the Shekinah glory depart from the temple. And though the Shekinah would never be there again in visible form until the Millennium, God would be there, his presence would rule. Every resource that he had in himself would be available to them. They would not need to fear, they would not need to defend themselves, they would not need to act on their own behalf; God would deliver them. This is a picture of deliverance, which is the first stage of reconstruction. Zechariah wants us to know that God, who formerly was our enemy, once we have been reconciled to him, is our friend, and has constituted himself the enemy of every force arrayed against us.
II. (:6-9) THE VENGEANCE OF THE LORD WILL BE EXECUTED AGAINST ALL THOSE NATIONS WHICH HAVE HARMED JUDAH
A. (:6-7) TwoFold Warning to Take Refuge in God’s City
1. Warning #1
“’Ho there! Flee from the land of the north,’ declares the Lord, ‘for I have dispersed you as the four winds of the heavens,’ declares the Lord.”
2. Warning #2
“Ho, Zion! Escape, you who are living with the daughter of Babylon.”
Maybe some of you today are living with the daughter of Babylon rather than submitting to the yoke of the Lord’s gracious commands.
MacArthur: The prophet turned from the distant future (vv. 4, 5) to the present, summoning those Israelites still in Babylon (referred to as the land of the north, cf. v. 7, because of the direction from which it invaded Israel) to flee before God poured out His judgment on it. This also implied a future call to leave a future Babylon (cf. Rev 17:3-5; 18:1-8).
Mackay: The next three words, rendered in the NIV after he has honoured me and has sent me, are highly problematic. Literally they are, ‘after (or afterwards) glory (or honour or weight) he sent me.’ And that seems to be as much as there is general agreement about. Some of the more plausible interpretations include the following.
(1) ‘Weight’ or ‘weightiness’ may be an idiomatic expression for persistent urging or insistence. Whoever was sent had no option but to go. It was required by God.
(2) The phrase ‘after glory’ may indicate the purpose for which the person was sent. He was to obtain glory by carrying out the task of 2:9. [my choice]
(3) The phrase ‘after glory’ may indicate time. The particular time indicated would then depend on identifying the speaker.
Although many take the reference to be to the prophet himself, this seems to be ruled out by the nature of the mission described in 2:9 as ‘I will surely raise my hand against them’ and so punish the oppressing nations. That is a divine task. So the best explanation of the first person references is that the speaker is the Angel of the Lord who can both speak as the Lord and yet be distinguished from him.
B. (:8-9) TwoFold Description of Mission of Vengeance
1. (:8) Description #1 – Protecting a Precious Possession
“For thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘After glory He has sent Me against the nations which plunder you, for he who touches you, touches the apple of His eye.’”
Merrill: The famous “apple of his eye” derives from a hapax legomenon (, baba), cognate to Aramaic (baba) or Akkadian babu, both meaning “gate.” It is thus the opening of the eye that is intended here or, perhaps with most modern scholars, the pupil. In either case it represents one of the most important and vulnerable parts of the body. To strike a blow at Zion is to strike one at YHWH, wounding him in a most sensitive area, to carry out the full import of this bold anthropomorphism.
Mackay: Being very sensitive and easily injured it is looked after with particular care (Deut. 32:10; Ps. 17:8; Prov. 7:2).
2. (:9) Description #2 – Plundering a Ruthless Oppressor
“For behold, I will wave My hand over them so that they will be plunder for their slaves. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me.”
Dr. Barry Horner: With “a wave of His hand,” as a gesture militant opposition, God will reverse the fortunes of the Gentile oppressors so that master becomes slave and slave becomes master. The enemies of Israel will become the spoil of Israel because of Messiah’s intervention (Isa. 19:16-17). This astonishing about-face will cause the children of God to acknowledge His sovereignty in their lives. He remembers His own children (Isa. 49:15-16). “Then . . . you [Israel] will know that the LORD of hosts has sent Me” (cf. 12:2-10).
III. (:10-12) THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD WILL VINDICATE HIS SOVEREIGN ELECTION OF THE NATION OF JUDAH
A. (:10a) Exhortation to Exalt
“Sing for joy and be glad, O daughter of Zion”
B. (:10b) Promise of Abiding Presence
“’for behold I am coming and I will dwell in your midst,’ declares the Lord.”
C. (:11a) Expansion of Blessing to the Gentiles
“Many nations will join themselves to the Lord in that day and will become My people.”
D. (:11b) Confirmation of the Identity of the Messiah
“Then I will dwell in your midst, and you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you.”
E. (:12) Vindication of the Lord’s Sovereign Election of Judah
“The Lord will possess Judah as His portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem.”
(:13) CONCLUSION – WHEN THE LORD SPRINGS INTO ACTION, WATCH OUT!
“Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord; for He is aroused from His holy habitation.”
Talk about waking a sleeping giant!
The Lord dwells in the context of holiness.
Lindsey: The entire human race is to bow in silence and awe before the Almighty God.
O Lord, who may abide in Your tent?
Who may dwell on Your holy hill?
He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness,
And speaks truth in his heart.
He does not slander with his tongue,
Nor does evil to his neighbor,
Nor takes up a reproach against his friend;
In whose eyes a reprobate is despised,
But who honors those who fear the Lord;
He swears to his own hurt and does not change;
He does not put out his money at interest,
Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things will never be shaken.