Saturday after Judica
Scripture: Zechariah 9:1-17 (NKJV)
9:1 The burden of the word of the Lord—against the land of Hadrach, and Damascus its resting place (for the eyes of men and all the tribes of Israel are on the Lord);
2 Also against Hamath, which borders on it, and against Tyre and Sidon, though they are very wise.
3 For Tyre built herself a tower, heaped up silver like the dust, and gold like the mire of the streets.
4 Behold, the Lord will cast her out; He will destroy her power in the sea, and she will be devoured by fire.
5 Ashkelon shall see it and fear; Gaza also shall be very sorrowful; And Ekron, for He dried up her expectation. The king shall perish from Gaza, and Ashkelon shall not be inhabited.
6 “A mixed race shall settle in Ashdod, and I will cut off the pride of the Philistines.
7 “I will take away the blood from his mouth, and the abominations from between his teeth. But he who remains, even he shall be for our God, and shall be like a leader in Judah, and Ekron like a Jebusite.
8 “I will camp around My house because of the army, because of him who passes by and him who returns. No more shall an oppressor pass through them, for now I have seen with My eyes.
9 “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.
10 “I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the horse from Jerusalem; The battle bow shall be cut off. He shall speak peace to the nations; His dominion shall be ‘from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.’
11 “As for you also, because of the blood of your covenant, I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit.
12 “Return to the stronghold, you prisoners of hope. Even today I declare that I will restore double to you.
13 “For I have bent Judah, My bow, fitted the bow with Ephraim, and raised up your sons, O Zion, against your sons, O Greece, and made you like the sword of a mighty man.”
14 Then the Lord will be seen over them, and His arrow will go forth like lightning. The Lord God will blow the trumpet, and go with whirlwinds from the south.
15 The Lord of hosts will defend them; They shall devour and subdue with slingstones. They shall drink and roar as if with wine; They shall be filled with blood like basins, like the corners of the altar.
16 The Lord their God will save them in that day, as the flock of His people. For they shall be like the jewels of a crown, lifted like a banner over His land—
17 for how great is its goodness and how great its beauty! Grain shall make the young men thrive, and new wine the young women.
“Judge me, O God” found sensibility in yesterday’s reading. We acknowledge we are beggars before God (Matt. 5:3), so we are contrite and tremble at the judgment we deserve. Yet, we trust that Christ was born under the Law (Gal. 4:4) expressly to fulfill all righteousness for us (Matt. 3:15). Thus, we are blessed ones (Matt. 5:3), who may so call upon God to judge—to vindicate—us. We are covered with Christ’s righteousness, the baptized and believing Church (Gal. 3:26-27), called out from all the world.
Today, you are given another assurance. While your flesh bristles at the Word of God that your mind loves, and the devil and the world use the Word in attacking, your Lord defends you against these enemies. As the world watches God (hoping He fails you) and you look to Him, He upholds you until He destroys them. Through the Word-powered water of Holy Baptism, their power to accuse before Him is destroyed, until by fire they are driven from you forever.
“Rejoice greatly!” He says, as all is accomplished through the King who comes to the wreckage that we would make of our lives and of the Church. He comes “just and having salvation.” He cuts off your warfare; your concern is now with the peace He makes for you. Through faith in His work of destroying the sin that separated you from God, you have peace with Him. You have the Word of His peace to carry forth, that He may reign over hearts by grace.
We pray: We give thanks, Lord Jesus, that You have made us, Your flock, like the jewels of a crown and a banner over Your land, showing the beauty of Your reign—the forgiveness and restoration of sinners. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.