Summary: In a burst of messianic grandeur sparked by disclosing a portion of His future glory in Jerusalem, the Lord shouts out in prophetic anticipation to prepare those who are to be His people. Let us also experience the excitement of God within our text as He
ZECHARIAH 2: 6-13
MAKING HIS HABITATION HOLY
Though the passage has application to Zechariah's day it is also a prophecy of the future. In a burst of messianic grandeur sparked by disclosing a portion of His future glory in millennial Jerusalem, the Lord shouts out in prophetic anticipation to prepare those who are to be His people. Let us also experience the excitement of God within our text as He continues to reveal the might and glory which result by His final earthly tabernacling or dwelling.
Also found within our text is the Lord's identifying Himself as the LORD yet distinguishing Himself from the LORD God. The LORD here looks forward to His dwelling in Zion, yet, back upon the mission He was sent on by the LORD God. And yet this mission He would be sent on was chronologically still in the future. The certainty of His people's redemption is an amazing miracle of sovereignty (CIM).
I. THE CALLING OUT OF GOD'S PEOPLE, 2:6-7.
(The Calling Out For Purity)
II. THE PRECIOUSNESS OF GOD'S PEOPLE, 2:8-9.
(Sent After Glory)
III. DWELLING IN THE MIDST OF HIS PEOPLE, 2:10-13.
I. THE CALLING OUT OF GOD'S PEOPLE, 2:6-7
(The Calling Out for Purity)
The LORD's promises for Jerusalem have implications for those who had not returned from Babylon. "Ho there! Flee from the north," declares the LORD, "for I have spread you out as the four winds of heaven," declares the LORD.
Because of the topography of the land in Israel the enemies of Israel attacked them from the north. The Babylonian invasion came from the north. (North refers to Babylon in Jer. 1:14f; 6:1, 22, 10:22; Isa. 41:25; 43:6). The final enemy that will attack Israel will come from the north [the bear of the north].
God is here calling out to His people who live within the territory of the enemy to flee. God tells His people to flee because His judgment is about to blaze forth upon the enemies of His people and He did not want His people to be singed because they were too near the flame. This call would certainly apply to those still living in Babylon (Jer. 51:45ff).
The word dispersed is more exactly ‘spread out' meaning His people were scattered out in all directions. [The various deportations from the land scattered them to Assyria, Egypt, Persia, Mesopotamia, and neighboring countries which might collectively be described as Babylon, the place of exile.] God had spread them out as part of their judgment. It thus took a divine command and divine power to enable their return. Most of them had not returned from this scattering and so are commanded to return so that they too could experience restoration and avoid His judgment on the nations.
We can see here a dual (or tri) fulfillment prophecy. Though a remnant had returned to ancient Judah, most of the Jews were not living in the promised land. Thus historically this call was fulfilled when more of the Israelites returned to Judah. This prophecy also calls the Jewish people back to Israel, to Palestine, before God judges the north (which could mean Russia) in the great tribulation. We have seen this gathering occurring since 1948 when Israel again became a nation after nearly 2,000 years.
[Another possible fulfillment could be that before our Lord Jesus returns many of His churches that He spread out to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world will not be living in "the Promised Land" of obedience. They will be living in the dessert because they are living in rebellion to God, refusing to heed His commands to defeat the spiritual enemies who keep God's people from receiving the promises of His word.]
Verse 7 continues the message of leaving a situation that was dangerous for them. "Ho, Zion! Escape, you who are living with the daughter of Babylon."
Though a faithful remnant had returned to the Promised Land most were still in the lands to which they had been exiled. Some of them had grown rich and prosperous in foreign lands. Their love for Jerusalem and all it stood for had cooled down and they were content to be dwellers with the daughters of Babylon. They were reluctant to leave their comfortable homes and occupations. The Lord may not have been summoning every one but He was summoning all those who were putting comfort, job, and security ahead of doing God's restorative work in their sacred city (Isa. 48:20; 52:11; Jer. 50:8; 51:6,9,45; 2 Cor. 6:14-18; Rev. 18:4).
So here the Lord must exhort them to escape out of Babylon, not only because of the goodness of the Lord which is to be shown to His people in their own land, but because of the terror which was about to overtake Babylon (Jer. 51:6,45; Isa. 48:20).