The Expository Files

 

He's My King

 Zechariah 14:9


One of the greatest prophetic sections of the Old Testament is the book of Zechariah (Written from 520-518 B.C.). But it is also a portion of scripture that is often neglected and misunderstood. Much of it is written in apocalyptic type style using many images and symbols, much like the more familiar Book of Revelation in the New Testament. It contains many prophecies about the time of Christ. He would be a descendant of David, lowly in spirit will come and provide salvation, establishing a kingdom out of peoples of all nations. He would be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver, pierced through; and His sheep scattered. But He would be victorious, accomplishing His purpose. Note that one of the final prophecies of the book speaks of our great King, that He is King over all the earth . “And the LORD will be king over all the earth; in that day the LORD will be the only one, and His name the only one.“ (Zechariah 14:9).

The Extent of the Rule of King Jesus
First, our King has greater rule than just His reign over the church (His spiritual kingdom). The power and dominion that have been given to Christ extend to all the earth and to all of mankind. The prophet Daniel spoke of the same dominion, (Daniel l 7:14; cf. Matthew 28:18-20). While all of mankind is not obedient to the will of Christ, all are subject to His authority and will answer to Him.

Yes, though men may resist His rule now, there is coming a day when all men will bow the knee to Him, (Philippians 2:9-11). Jesus is indeed ruler over all (John 5:26-29). Even though men may disobey Him now, He still rules over them in the sense that He
can do as He wills (2 Peter 3:9). As the children's song says, "He's got the whole world in His hands." He upholds all things, even the laws of nature, but his word (Hebrews 1:2,3).

Note that our text in Zechariah 14:9 uses the phrase “in that day.” This language in Zechariah refers to the Messiah's time-His first coming; ministry, death and resurrection and the events following His ministry. This phrase is used throughout the book of Zechariah. The events foreshadowed in the book show the greatness of our King. The book of Zechariah demonstrates how our King is King over all the earth. It demonstrates how He rules-even in the midst of His enemies.

The Day of the Great King
The phrase “in that day” is used as early as chapter 2 (Zechariah 2:11). This is a prophecy speaking of King Jesus Himself. His rule would not be limited to the Jews, but “many nations” would be joined to the Lord in that day (Colossians 1:3-6).

The peaceful nature of the kingdom is also emphasized (Zechariah 3:10). Jesus' true kingdom does not advance its cause by sword (John 18:36). The teachings of the king urge us to live peacefully and put away selfishness and greed and hate and envy and things which hinder peace. The kingdom of Christ is intended to be a peaceable kingdom. (Romans 14:17).

In Jesus' kingdom others' interests are placed before self-interests, as the King appointed and gave example Himself (Philippians 2:3-5). Yet the kingdom would have enemies! And who would save the people from their enemies? It would be the Lord (Zechariah 9:16). Our King is also our Savior. Though He is King over all the earth, there are still those who oppose Him and His kingdom. He rules in the midst of His enemies, (Psalm 110:1-2). Peter repeated these words (Acts 2:34-35; see also 36). The persecution of the Lord's Kingdom would be great. Though people of many nations would come into it, there would also be people of many nations gathered against it, (Zechariah 12:3-4). Once again, the Lord is the rescuer of His people.

Ultimately, God would give security to His people, (Zechariah 12:6). The Jerusalem spoken of here is not the physical city-which was to be destroyed-but the spiritual Jerusalem which is spoken of in the New Testament (Hebrews 12:22). The Lord is the great defender of His spiritual kingdom, (Zechariah 12:8-9). God gives to His people the highest strength and highest glory of any people on the earth. Even death itself does not bring defeat to the faithful (Revelation 2:10).

Zechariah speaks of the death of our great King. Before the people of the kingdom could have glory and honor, they would first have great grief. It would be mourning and grief over death, (Zechariah 12:10-11). We see this grief in the reaction of the Jews to Peter's words (Acts 2:36, 37). With the death of the Messiah a great blessing would immediately follow (Zechariah 13:1). The fountain of cleansing refers to the shedding of the blood of Christ and the offer of salvation made on the basis of that blood. Note again Peter's answer (Acts 2:38). The song “There Is A Fountain” is taken from this figure of speech in Zechariah.

The Good News of the Great King
Zechariah speaks of the gospel of our great King. With the coming of the gospel age, a powerful assault would be made against idolatry, (Zechariah 13:2). It would cease among God's people (1 Thessalonians 1:9,10; Acts 17:29-31) . The beginning of the gospel age would also mark the beginning of the end of the office of prophet, (Zechariah 13:4. (See verses 2-6.) The gospel itself speaks of the end of the gift of prophecy in (1 Corinthians 13:8-10). Today we have the words of the New Covenant to guide us and bless us.

Zechariah also speaks of the destruction of Jerusalem. (Zechariah 14:4), and, the Lord, the protector of His people, is once more pictured as saving them in a time of trouble. The time of trouble is the destruction of Jerusalem that took place in 70 AD. Zechariah 14:1-5 speaks of the Lord's people being able to escape the city and Jesus would later speak of the same thing in Matthew 24:15-22 when He spoke of the coming destruction of the city. The Lord made a way for His people to escape. It would all occur, Jesus said, during that generation (Matthew 24:34).

The time of the destruction of Jerusalem would be a time of great trouble and uncertainty, (Zechariah 14:6-7). In such a time as this, false prophets and false saviors are found in abundance. Jesus said this would be the case at the destruction of Jerusalem (Matthew 24:24). Though it was a time of uncertainty, God was not uncertain about anything. Eventually, men would see that there is nothing unknown to the Lord. In time, the Lord's strength and power would be recognized, and His people would see that there was nothing to fear (verse 7).

Zechariah spoke also of the advance of the gospel. Even though the physical city of Jerusalem would be destroyed, this would not stop the advance of the spiritual city of Jerusalem and its cause (Zechariah 14:8-9; Luke 24:44-48). The living waters are the blessings of the gospel. These blessings would be extended to all the earth. Indeed, the Lord would be (and is) King over all the earth!
 

By Jon W. Quinn
From Expository Files 20.4; April 2013

 

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