When God Delievers His People

When God Delivers His People 

Zechariah 2:1-13

“After glory, He has sent me against the nations which plunder you, for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye.”

 

            Although many of the prophecies found in the minor prophets focus on the punishment and judgment of God upon the sins of the people of Israel, the message of Zechariah is one of hope and salvation.  After God used the Assyrians and Babylonians to discipline Israel, in chapter 2, God promised to restore the people.  In this second vision,  Zechariah sees a man with a measuring rod to survey the land again.  In Amos, God used the measuring line to measure the sin of the people of Israel.  But now, the measuring line is used to plan the rebuilding of the city carefully.  But this city will be different, for it will be without walls.  In the Ancient Near East, the city's walls were the city's most important defense.  It was their primary protection from their enemies.  But the New Jerusalem will no longer have a wall, for God himself will provide the wall of protection around the city.  He will place a “wall of fire around her” (verses 5).  This again serves to make a play on words.  Often the reference to fire represents the coming of divine judgment.  But in this case, it is the promise of divine protection and care. The fire here describes God’s powerful protective presence, just as in the book of Exodus, God protected Israel from the Egyptian army with a pillar of fire.  This is further seen in verses 6-7, where God warns the enemies of Israel of his impending judgment.             

In verse 8, one of the most famous statements in the book.  God declares that “anyone who touches Judah touches the apple of his eye.”  The apple or pupil of the eye is a picture of the most vulnerable member of the body, which must be guarded carefully.  Thus God is affirming his tender protective care of his people.  The verse refers to Deuteronomy 32:10, in which Moses proclaims how God redeemed his people and brought them out of the wilderness to care for and protect them.  

Throughout scripture, God continually affirms the value he places upon his people.  God is not just a cosmic being in space who gives passing attention to the affairs of the earth as he scans his watchful eye over the whole universe.  The point that God is emphasizing is that he gives his complete devotion and attention to his people as his most prized and guarded possession.  He cares deeply about us and is verse watchful over us.  

Furthermore, the passage rings of Messianic implications.  The verse latterly reads, After glory, he sent me against the nations which plunder you, for he who touches you, touches the apple of my eye.”  The question that this raises is the identity of “me.”  This is not the angel but someone else.  In the rest of the passage, we find hints that the messianic King is now speaking, as he is the one sent by the Lord to dwell in the land.  The one who ultimately cares for the people of God and who provides his care is the person of Christ.  He came and now watches over us.

With everything happening in today’s world, with the Christian faith being attacked (especially in many countries where Christians are facing severe persecution), we are reminded that Christ is watching over his people. Christ will place his protective hand upon them so that they cannot destroy the soul even if they kill the body.  Consequently, we can live without fear or anxiety regarding our circumstances in life, for we are the apple of Christ’s eye, and he is watching over us.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Coming Day of the Lord

A Life of Significance

The Healing