Zechariah’s King (03-11-21)
Zechariah was another prophet living at the time of the exile of the Israelites in Babylon. His ministry covered the rebuilding of the temple and the return of the Jews to their land. His message also looked towards the coming of the Messiah and beyond that, to his eventual return.
Bible Reading: Zechariah 9:9-10,16-17
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 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.
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. How attractive and beautiful they will be! Grain will make the young men thrive, and new wine the young women.
After around seventy years of living in exile, having been defeated by the Babylonians, the Jews are returning to their homeland. What had probably seemed an impossibility was beginning to happen, but there was still much to do; Jerusalem and the temple were in ruins and needed rebuilding and the people were discouraged. Into this situation Zechariah speaks words of encouragement, ‘Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you.’
Even in the struggle, it is possible to rejoice and to get excited about what is to come; our God is faithful, and he will save his people. Whatever difficulties we have faced in the past; whatever struggles we have each day, let us rejoice! Jesus came as our Saviour; he will return as our King.
These words of Zechariah are picked up by the gospel writers five hundred years later as Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. Israel was looking for the coming of a king to defeat their enemies, in this case the Romans, and so many failed to recognise their king as he came, ‘lowly and riding on a donkey’.
I wonder whether there are times when we are praying and trusting God for an answer to a question, for deliverance from a problem, and we fail to see the answer he has provided. We are looking for a King on a spectacular white charger and we fail to see the Saviour on a simple donkey?
Where might God have been at work in the simple things of your life over the last few days or weeks? Where might you have overlooked the answer he has given you because it didn’t look like the one you were expecting?
Zechariah reminds us that, whatever the future might hold, Jesus came to be our Saviour, he will come again as our King, in the meantime he is our Shepherd saving and caring for his flock. So, let us do as he says, and ‘Rejoice Greatly!’
Almighty God, when I am looking for you in splendour on a white charger, open my eyes to see you in humility on a donkey.
Come, people of the Risen King – Rejoice!