If there were a set of consecutive verses to give a vision of From Garden to City, this would be it. The chapters begin with the weeping and burning of the beautiful and grand forest – the garden. The chapters end with the restoration of Jerusalem. 14:10 “…But Jerusalem will be raised up in its original place and will be inhabited all the way from the Benjamin Gate over to the site of the old gate, then to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s winepresses. And Jerusalem will be filled, safe at last, never again to be cursed and destroyed.”
As Zechariah delivers God’s message in these chapters, I am struck at how this is like reading through the Revelation of the Old Testament. It’s past, present, future, metaphorical, literal, and fantastical all in one. It is miraculous.
12:1 “This message is from the Lord, who stretched out the heavens, laid the foundations of the earth, and formed the spirit within humans.” Lord, I am listening.
The context that Zechariah lives in is one where Jerusalem and Judah are divided, brother against brother; neighbor against neighbor. For what seems like the umpteenth time, Israel has rejected the Lord once again. In turn, the Lord has rejected His people and ended their time of favor and unity scattering the flock and leaving Israel at the whim of its enemies. However, the Lord’s love for us emerges as Zechariah prophesies the coming of the Messiah.
For the Lord declares “Then I will pour out a spirit of grace and prayer on the family of David and on all the people of Jerusalem. They will look on me whom they have pierced and mourn for him as for an only son.” – 12:10
“On that day a fountain will be opened for the dynasty of David and for the people of Jerusalem, a fountain to cleanse them for all their sins and defilement.” – 13:1
The Lord claims this victory and He tells us how He will fight for us and defend us. 12:8 “On that day the Lord will defend the people of Jerusalem; the weakest among them will be as might as King David!”
There is a mighty panorama presented as I see the arc of the story so vividly foretold: the fall of man in the garden, our wanderings in the wilderness, and our call back to the Lord like the parable of the prodigal son to the new city, a place the Lord has prepared.
As we conclude our Fearless series, it is my prayer that we can live our faith fearlessly, as new creations refined like silver and purified by fire. Loving one another and with a spirit of unity. In times of favor and times without, let us not forget our Lord but always worship and praise His name for the victory is already won. Despite present day hardships or baggage from our pasts, I quote Pastor Zeb Mengistu, “fertilizer. Fertilizer. Fertilizer.” And on the appointed coming of the Lord, like Zechariah’s name means “God has remembered,” know that we will be the people of Jerusalem He defends and shepherds back to him with restored staffs of Favor and Unity.
I pray for humble hearts, reverent spirits, and a panoramic vision to obey and surrender to Your will oh Lord and not our own. We ask you to hear our prayers and unify your scattered flock under the banner of Your beloved son, Jesus Christ. If there is one thing I pray tonight, it is to be fearless with abandon in believing, living, and breathing that. From Garden to City. Hallelujah.