In the close of the foregoing chapter, the prophet had seen Jerusalem’s enemies baffled and broken; and so now he begins to hope that she shall not be ruined. But that is not enough to make her happy; and therefore, that is not all that is promised. Here is more “carpenter’s work to be done.” When David had resolved to cut off the horns of the wicked, he also resolved likewise that the horns of the righteous should be exalted (Ps. 75:10). And that is exactly what the greater Son of David does here in this vision that Zechariah beheld, for He is the Man – even the Man Christ Jesus – Whom the prophet sees with a measuring-line in His hand! He is the Master Builder of His Church (Heb. 3:3); and He builds precisely, by line and level.
Zechariah took the boldness to ask the Man where He was going, and what He intended to do with that measuring-line. And He readily told him that He was going to measure Jerusalem, and take a particular account of the dimensions of it each way. Thereby it might be computed what was necessary for the making of a wall around it; and its dimensions might also be compared with the vast numbers of the population that would inhabit it, so that it might be ascertained what additions were necessary to be made for the receiving and containing of them. God takes notice of the extent of His Church; and He will take care that even when many guests are brought into the wedding supper, there shall still be room (Luke 14:22).
Zechariah is informed that this vision is good news for Jerusalem; for the measuring-line that he saw was not a line of confusion (Isa. 34:11), nor a line of destruction (Lam. 2:8). Rather, it was like a line to measure and divide the inheritance (Psa. 78:55). The angel that had been talking with the prophet in the last chapter now went forth; and another angel went out to meet him, to desire that he would explain this vision to the prophet, so that it might not cause him any uneasiness. The second angel desired the other to cause the prophet to hope the best, by telling him that Jerusalem would be both safe and great. The Lord’s people would be multiplied, for God would bless them. And they would be as safe and as great as the presence of Jehovah could make them (verse 5), for He Himself promised to be a wall of fire around them – a wall that cannot be broken down, nor climbed over, nor dug under, without danger to the assailants!
In verses 6-9, a proclamation is issued by the God of Israel, loudly summoning all His people – no matter where they were dispersed – to speedily return into their own land. If God would build Jerusalem for them and their comfort, then they must come and inhabit it for Him and His glory, and not continue to remain in Babylon. Similarly, the Church is enlarged to make room for all God’s people, and so it is the greatest madness imaginable for anyone to stay in the Babylon of this world. The captivity of our sinful state is by no means to be continued in, even though it may be ever so easy as far as temporal concerns go. Christ has proclaimed deliverance to the captives; and since we are under grace, it is only proper for us to resolve that sin shall no longer have dominion over us! If we desire to be counted among God’s sons and daughters, then we must separate ourselves from the evil generation of this world (Acts 2:40).
The Lord also has words (verse 8) for the nations that spoiled His people. He will take vengeance on them for the wrongs done to Zion. Our Lord Jesus has already gotten the victory over our spiritual enemies; and on the Great Last Day, He will publicly manifest His triumph over them in the sight of the assembled myriads before His Judgment-seat. And although these enemies sometimes seem to gain the upper hand over His Church, Christ will indeed reckon with them; and sooner or later, He will make them His footstool (Ps. 110:1; Rev. 3:9). This declaration of what Jesus will do for His Church is an evident proof of His tender care and affection for her. “He that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye,” says He (verse 8). This is a high expression of His love for His Bride. By His resentment of the injuries which are done to her, it appears how dear she is to Him. He interests Himself in all her interests; and He takes what is done against her – not only as done against Himself – but rather, as done against the very apple of His eye, which is the very tenderest part of the Body.
In verse 10, joy is proclaimed to the daughter of Zion, who had separated herself from the daughter of Babylon. The Jews that had returned to Jerusalem were in distress and danger. And yet they are directed to sing, and even to rejoice in tribulation. Those who are restored to their purity, integrity, and spiritual liberty have great reason to sing and rejoice – even if they have not been restored to their outward prosperity. The Lord also assures His people that they shall have His presence among them: “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord” (verse 10). Those whom God dwells among have reason indeed to rejoice, for He will be their chief joy. And now, in the conclusion of this chapter, silence is proclaimed to all the world (verse 13). The daughter of Zion must sing, but “all flesh” must “be silent.” The verse says that the Lord “is raised up out of his holy habitation,” and this is a very awful description of His appearances for the relief of His people. Before God and His Providence, the enemies of the Church shall be silenced, and all iniquity shall stop her mouth.
Thank You, Lord Jesus, for all the instances of Your unequalled love, and for being a protecting wall of fire around Your chosen people! Amen.
If you prefer to listen, today’s Family Bible guide is available in audio format on both SermonAudio and YouTube.
Join other families all around the globe and receive the full-color, freely downloadable format of these thoughts in your email every day! It’s my prayer that you and your family will be equipped to receive abundant blessings from the hand of the Lord as you study His Word and worship in His presence together.
illustration created with canva.com