Tuesday after Exaudi
Scripture: Zechariah 14:1-21 (NKJV)
1 Behold, the day of the Lord is coming, and your spoil will be divided in your midst.
2 For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; The city shall be taken, the houses rifled, and the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, but the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
3 Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle.
4 And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, from east to west, making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north and half of it toward the south.
5 Then you shall flee through My mountain valley, for the mountain valley shall reach to Azal. Yes, you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Thus the Lord my God will come, and all the saints with You.
6 It shall come to pass in that day that there will be no light; The lights will diminish.
7 It shall be one day which is known to the Lord—neither day nor night. But at evening time it shall happen that it will be light.
8 And in that day it shall be that living waters shall flow from Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and half of them toward the western sea; In both summer and winter it shall occur.
9 And the Lord shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be—”The Lord is one,” and His name one.
10 All the land shall be turned into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be raised up and inhabited in her place from Benjamin’s Gate to the place of the First Gate and the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s winepresses.
11 The people shall dwell in it; And no longer shall there be utter destruction, but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.
12 And this shall be the plague with which the Lord will strike all the people who fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh shall dissolve while they stand on their feet, their eyes shall dissolve in their sockets, and their tongues shall dissolve in their mouths.
13 It shall come to pass in that day that a great panic from the Lord will be among them. Everyone will seize the hand of his neighbor, and raise his hand against his neighbor’s hand;
14 Judah also will fight at Jerusalem. And the wealth of all the surrounding nations shall be gathered together: Gold, silver, and apparel in great abundance.
15 Such also shall be the plague on the horse and the mule, on the camel and the donkey, and on all the cattle that will be in those camps. So shall this plague be.
16 And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. 17 And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, on them there will be no rain. 18 If the family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they shall have no rain; they shall receive the plague with which the Lord strikes the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. 19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.
20 In that day “HOLINESS TO THE LORD” shall be engraved on the bells of the horses. The pots in the Lord’s house shall be like the bowls before the altar. 21 Yes, every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holiness to the Lord of hosts. Everyone who sacrifices shall come and take them and cook in them. In that day there shall no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts.
In these days and weeks after the Ascension, the Church of Jesus Christ here on Earth lives in the blessed assurance given to His Apostles before He ascended into Heaven. He promised that, “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Now it is true, as Zechariah prophesies, the Church on Earth undergoes constant persecution. There are those who hate Her; those who want to destroy Her; those who try to deceive Her and lead Her astray. That has always been true and it always will be true as long as this Earth remains!
But Zechariah also writes, “the living waters shall flow from Jerusalem.” Throughout the time of the Church on Earth Christ’s faithful under-shepherds will continue to faithfully preach His Word and faithfully administer His Sacraments. And the Holy Spirit will continue to use these means of grace to work and sustain faith in the hearts of God’s people. In this God-given faith we have been united with Christ. And if we have been united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be united with Him in the likeness of His resurrection (Rom. 6).
No matter how bad things look in these last days, that is, in the days following His death, resurrection, and ascension, by faith we know that we have the victory! The Devil, the world, and our old sinful nature will not overcome us! We are Christ’s Church and He will keep us.
We pray: Almighty, everlasting God, make us to have always a devout will toward Thee and to serve Thy Majesty with a pure heart; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.