The Lord is Coming Soon!
Up! Up! Flee from the land of the north, declares the LORD. For I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heavens, declares the LORD. 7Up! Escape to Zion, you who dwell with the daughter of Babylon. 8 For thus said the LORD of hosts, after his glory sent me to the nations who plundered you, for he who touches you touches the apple of his eye: 9 “Behold, I will shake my hand over them, and they shall become plunder for those who served them. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent me. 10 Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for behold, I come and I will dwell in your midst, declares the LORD. 11And many nations shall join themselves to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people. And I will dwell in your midst, and you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you. 12And the LORD will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem.” 13 Be silent, all flesh, before the LORD, for he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.
December 14, 2021 Here, near the very end of the Old Testament, the prophet Zechariah speak to the Israelites who have been in exile. This particular passage records the third of eight visions received by the prophet (vv. 1-5), which describes the unlimited size of the restored city of Jerusalem (cf. Isaiah 49:19-21) assuring the people that God's glory will be there (cf. Ezekiel 43:1-5; Haggai 2:9) and He will protect them like in the past (Exodus 13:21). The passage then continues with a section where the Lord calls His people in exile to return to the city where He is about to dwell and all nations will come (verses 6-13). For the Israelites, this Zecharian prophecy was a beacon of hope! “I come and will dwell in your midst!” Little did they know that in roughly 500 years, the Lord would come to dwell with them in the flesh as God became man (John 1:14). The Lord is coming soon!
There is hope for us, too, because the prophecy from Zechariah notes that “many nations shall join themselves to the LORD,” and He will dwell with them and call them His people, as well. Zechariah’s purpose is both theological and pastoral. His main emphasis throughout the book is that God is at work and all His good deeds — including the construction of the Second Temple — are accomplished “not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit” (4:6). Ultimately, YHWH plans to live again with His people in Jerusalem. He will save them from their enemies and cleanse them from sin, however, God requires repentance — a turning away from sin towards faith in Him.
Just like many of our passages during the Advent season, these ones are about the first coming of the Messiah, but it is also a reminder to us about His second coming. In Matthew, Jesus tells a parable to exhort His followers to be ready for His return, and to steward well His creation and the authority He has given them. In Revelation, we hear the Lord speak to the church in Laodicea, who have become complacent and “lukewarm” in their faithfulness; perhaps they began to mirror the world around them once more, instead of Kingdom of God and His righteousness, or perhaps they had become too comfortable and forgot that following Christ would result in a life of sacrifice and suffering. Soon after, Jesus gives another exhortation, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock!” In both passages, we are reminded once more: The Lord is coming soon!
There is hope once more, however. Zechariah 2 speaks as much to us today as it did for the Israelites all those years ago. We, too, are in exile — surrounded by a culture that looks more like Babylon than Jerusalem. 28 Devotion written by the Rev. Andrew Ames Fuller (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Lord calls us home, to Himself. For those of us who know and walk with Jesus, this is a moment of celebration and joy! Mirroring Zechariah, in the final passages of the New Testament, John prophesies in Revelation: “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God” (21:3). The Lord is coming soon!