The “Transforming Presence” of the Lord in the Midst of His People! – Vision 3: “Glory In Our Midst ”, (Zechariah 2:1-5) –

In many ways, our task of planting a Reformed and Presbyterian church here in the Bahamas seems as onerous as Zechariah’s task of rebuilding the Temple in post-exilic Jerusalem. The prophet and those 43,000 returning exiles waited for almost 20 years before they became encouraged to complete the assignment that YHWH had given to His discouraged people. Christiana and I rejoice each day, as we witness how that same Sovereign Lord demonstrates His faithfulness to His mission to be the Glory in the Midst of His Covenant People. God’s vision to Zechariah encouraged, empowered, and enabled His prophet to lead Israel into completing the task set before them.

Review:

Setting:  The people’s task – rebuild the temple at Jerusalem, Israel’s spiritual center since the time of David, (see Ezra 1:2-4). God’s people had a false sense of security, up until the events of 586 BC;

This vision “…restates the theme of messianic vengeance introduced in vision one and developed as the main point of vision two[1]”;

1:16-17, God’s five-fold promise[2], “Therefore thus says the Lord: “I am returning to Jerusalem with mercy; My house shall be built in it,” says the Lord of hosts, and a surveyor’s line shall be stretched out over Jerusalem. Again proclaim, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: “My cities shall again spread out through prosperity; the Lord will again comfort Zion, and will again choose Jerusalem.

Vision 3: The Man with the Measuring Line, (2:1-3): “Then I raised my eyes and looked, and behold, a man with a measuring line in his hand. So I said, “Where are you going?” And he said to me, “To measure Jerusalem, to see what is its width and what is its length. And there was the angel who talked with me, going out; and another angel was coming out to meet him”.

In ANE, the measuring reed & line were symbols of authority reserved only for deities and kings; This “man” is measuring the dimensions of the future Jerusalem, (see 1:16);

True Vision Catches a Glance of Reality from God’s Perspective, (2:3-4): “And there was the angel who talked with me, going out; and another angel was coming out to meet him,  who said to him, “Run, speak to this young man, saying: ‘Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls, because of the multitude of men and livestock in it.”

Two angels meet the “young man” – Two witnesses?  (NB ‘human expectations; The young man’s “…conception of the city of God is poured into too small a mould[3]”.

An authoritative command – “run” denotes a great sense of urgency; “city without walls” – an increasingly expanding city; God will cause the city to prosper – (see 1:17);

Glory in Our Midst, (2:5): “For I,’ says the Lord, ‘will be a wall of fire all around her, and I will be the glory in her midst.”

The entire city becomes the Most Holy Place – the Shekinah glory is present; The “wall of fire”: God Himself will protect His people, (Ex. 14:24, “Now it came to pass, in the morning watch, that the Lord looked down upon the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud, and He troubled the army of the Egyptians” );

Also, God’s Presence guards the sanctity, not only the security of the city; This is a recall to the glorious days of the Exodus and wilderness wanderings, (see Ex. 33:18ff; This is also a prophetic glimpse of the future Messianic Age, (vv. 6-13; Isa. 26:1; 60:18);

 Messianic Fulfillment:

 A model of God’s future work, (see Hebrews 11:10; 12:22; Rev. 21:10ff);

Jesus’ Incarnation – His Death – His Resurrection – His Ascension – Pentecost – Consummation. Christ Jesus is the “final temple”!

What is this vision saying to us today?

From where do we get our perspective on the Church? From where do we get our perspective on ourselves? God has a far greater perspective of your life! The Gospel guarantees numerical growth, as well as wide inclusion, (Acts 1:8). We need not erect our own walls, (money, position, relationships, political affiliations, etc).

As a Church Planter, I’m doubly convinced that the Sovereign Lord has the best “methods” for following His lead in planting Covenant Life Presbyterian Church. May His people in the Bahamas behold His glory in our midst!

[1] Kline, page 79

[2] See Richard D. Phillips, Zechariah. In Reformed Expository Commentary, 2007, (pages 28-37)

[3] H.C. Leupold, Exposition of Zechariah, page 55

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