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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Zechariah 1:16

Therefore thus saith the LORD; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, saith the LORD of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem.

For further study - Zechariah 1:12-17

As we come to the prophetic book of Zechariah, I have so much that I would like to use for our devotional. Zechariah was unique in that he was both a "prophet" and a "priest". The Lord selected three men who were Priest and made them Prophets, Zechariah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel.

As I mentioned in our look at Haggai - these two are contemporaries in their ministry after the return of a number of Jews from Babylon. Zechariah is a "prophet" but also a "priest", how appropriate that the Lord selected him to challenge the people to re-build the temple.

In the portion we're reading today there is a focus on the city of Jerusalem and our Lord's attitude about this "holy city" and it's inhabitants. The city of Jerusalem is mentioned 37 times in Zechariah and for its size that is a large number of times to focus on Jerusalem.

In Zechariah 1:12 we see the phrase, "the angel of the Lord". That phrase is always a "theophany", a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus Christ. Jesus will say to Zechariah three significant things about Jerusalem.

In verse 14 the Lord says He is "jealous for Jerusalem". The Hebrew flavor for "jealous" is "aggressively possessive". The Lord has chosen Jerusalem for His eternal abode, the place to dwell among His people, the Jewish people, forever. Therefore, He is "aggressively possessive" of the city.

In verse 15 He says He is "sore displeased" with those who are "at ease" in Jerusalem. The Hebrew refers to those who are "arrogantly secure" in their control of Jerusalem. Those who have that control are the Palestinian Muslim people of today.

Verse 16 tells us that, one day, Jesus will return to Jerusalem and will build "His house" in it, His Temple. The city of Jerusalem is set aside for the Lord's program, which is the reason He is "aggressively possessive" of Jerusalem.

The city of Jerusalem, as the song says, is the "city of God". Therefore, as Zechariah tells us, Jerusalem will be the center of controversy, Zechariah 12:2-3, in the last days. Each and every controversy surrounding Jerusalem in our day brings us closer to the Lord's return.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me to focus on Jerusalem so that I can determine God's timing for His return to Jerusalem.