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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Promised King

The last six chapters of Zechariah are notoriously difficult to interpret.  They were written after the completion of the Temple in 516 BC.  The prophecies seem to be concerning the future of God’s people from time Of Alexander the Great to the Messianic age.  We find five messianic prophecies in these six chapters.  Today we will look at the one in Chapter 9. 
        Chapter 9 opens with a description of an invasion from the north.  It is believed this is prophetically describing Alexander The Great’s campaign in 332BC!  We read along to vv6-8 and they seem a little difficult, but when you read Josephus (Ant XI  viii   v) it is amazing at what God did and does for his people!! 
        Then vv9-11 contrasts the invasion and the military campaign of Alexander The Great with a just, gentle, and humble ruler!  Verse 9a tells God’s people to “rejoice greatly” in time of this invasion because a King is coming!  You see no one had occupied the throne of Israel in over 70yrs.  This Promised King must be the Messiah.  Notice, Zechariah says “your king.”  This Promised King comes for the sake of his people.  He will be their prophet, priest, king, teacher, and ultimately a perfect sacrifice!

This Promised King will have a few characteristics that will be unique to him!
        A. He will be JUST
This word also means righteous.  Ps 145:17a  This word is constantly given to the Messiah. (Isaiah 45:21; 53:11; Jeremiah 23:5, 6)  His being just is written here in association with kingly righteousness.  His decisions will be altogether righteous.  Isaiah also says in 53:9 in reference to the messiah “nor there was any deceit in his mouth.” 
    Endowed with salvation  The coming king was to be nothing like the earthly leaders such as Alexander The Great!  The Promised King will be humble; Alexander the Great considered himself a god; the Promised King will be just; Alexander the Great filled the world with atrocious deeds; the Promised King will bring salvation; Alexander brought death and destruction.  
   The Promised King was to be a savior or literally “to show himself as a savior.”  The word “salvation” in Hebrew is actually where the Greek word “save” comes from. 

          B. He will be HUMBLE  Humble literally means meek and afflicted! Without worldly pomp or splendor!  The prophecy so far is actually rather vague.  It is easy to find a man that doesn't gossip and doesn’t pursue worldly possessions.  This Promised King, however, will be riding:
         A colt, the foal of a donkey-  (foal is a young animal usually still following its mother) Most king’s ride a beautiful horse, but not this one.  Actually, riding a donkey was in ancient times reserved for only men of distinction. Jud 10:4
     It wasn’t until after Solomon that riding a horse was adopted and it was lowly to ride a donkey.  The donkey was used for peaceful purposes and was viewed as a peaceful animal.  NOT HOW WE LOOK AT THEM TODAY!!  Here is how specific this prophecy is…
    Under the law of Moses animals devoted to the service of God were to be animals which HAD NOT previously been used in any service of man.  Num 19:2; Dt 21:3; 1Sa 6:7   When our Lord and Savior rode that foal of a donkey into Jerusalem in the Triumphal entry he was saying (1) I am involved in the service of God (2) I am the Promised King you have been looking for.  I alone fulfill all prophecies of the Coming Messiah!!
How many men can claim to have these characteristics?  

We can see 3 distinct qualities in the coming king’s kingdom.
         A. His kingdom will be established without WAR.
     The chariots are the 1st apparatus of war mentioned to be cut off or eliminated.  The kingdom of the Promised King will not be started with war.  Rather, it will be the exact opposite of war, it will be of love!!  Ps 46:9
     Then we see the horses to be cut off or eliminated.  The horse is what generally pulled the chariots.  Horses are often an emblem of power, because the more horses an Army had the more potential the Army had for swift combat.  *The Promised King has no need for these horses as he will be riding a donkey!!
     Finally, the battle bow is eliminated.  The bow and arrow were effective arms from long-range (300-400 yards).  This weapon was used widely by the nations of the Bible. Israel had expert archers in men from Benjamin.  1Ch 8:40  and the eastern tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh. 1Ch 5:18  Bows were constructed with single pieces of wood, or more effectively with glued layers  of wood,  horn,  and sometimes  even with added bronze. The size varied from approximately three to six feet in length.  The Promised King's kingdom was to be established without physical force. Ps 72:7

          B. His kingdom will be PEACEFUL
The messianic reign of peace is not to be confined to the Jews and to the physical land of Canaan.  It will extend to the nations as well.
        He will speak Peace- Peace here is the word Shalom.  It means more than the absence of strife.  It expresses completeness, harmony, and fulfillment.  When you wish someone shalom you are also blessing them!  Jesus said Jn 14:27 

        C. His kingdom will be universal.
  “from sea to sea, And from the River to the ends of the earth” is an Old Testament way of saying worldwide!  It is this same humble king, whose entry into Jerusalem is on a despised animal, who shall, by His mere will, make war to cease, who shall, by His mere word, give peace to this world.  Jn 18:36  The kingdom Jesus is talking about is a spiritual kingdom and not physical one.  The Promised King will establish a universal spiritual kingdom!!

Where can such a man be found.  Who can fulfill all these prophecies and criteria?  

The fulfillment of prophecy

A king will come              The Magi knew it.  Mt 2:1,2 
He will be just                 Jesus was sinless   Heb 4:15
He will provide Salvation.  Jesus came for that reason.  Mt 1:21
He will be humble            Jesus meets this characteristic.  Mt 11:29 
He will ride a foal            The Triumphal Entry Mt 21:1-17
Est a Kingdom w/out war  Live by sword, die by sword Mt 26:52
Peaceful Kingdom            Jesus wanted us to have peace  Jn 16:33
Universal Kingdom           Jesus wants ALL NATIONS  Mt 28:19; Mk 16:15

You must make a decision the information placed before you today.  Is Jesus our Promised King of the Old Testament?  If you believe he is the Messiah, the anointed, do you acknowledge his authority?  Are you obedient to all his commands concerning entrance into his kingdom?    **Notice that this prophecy has nothing to do with how the king is received, but that he is coming! Jesus is King whether we choose to accept him as such or not.  

Today, for those "in Christ" or a member of Christ's universal spiritual kingdom, the Church, will you share the truth about the Promised King that came and died in order to establish his peaceful kingdom?  Is being a part of His kingdom a priority in your life or are you a weekend visitor?  If you are not a member of his spiritual kingdom why a you waiting?  Today is the time and it is your day of salvation? 2Co 6:2

Hear The Word-  Rom 10:17; Acts 4:4

We Must Believe or Have Faith-  Heb 11:6; Acts 16:31

We Must Repent-  Lk 13:3; Acts 17:30

We Must Confess Christ Before Others-  Mt 10:32; Acts 8:37

We Must Be Immersed Into Christ (Baptized)-  1Pe 3:21; Mk 16:16; Acts 2:38  

We Must Remain Faithful-  Rev 2:10; Acts 14:22 

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