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The Prophet, still prosecuting the same blessed subject, of the auspicious events included in the coming of Christ, prophesieth of many singular blessings to be given to the Lord's people in that day.
(Zechariah 12:1 ) THE burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.
The Chapter opens with a solemn preface of the Lord's distinguishing mercy over Israel; and the Lord, in confirming this love and favour to his people, takes to himself his glorious name in creation, and forming the spirit of man within him. There seems to be somewhat particularly striking in this assumption of character by Jehovah, for we find him more than once introducing himself to his Church and people under it. See Isaiah 45:5 ; Psalms 104:1-9 ; Jeremiah 10:12-13 ; Psalms 136:5-8 . By the burden of the word of the Lord is not Meant anything oppressive, but on the contrary weighty blessings.
Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. 3 ¶ And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it. 4 In that day, saith the LORD, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness. 5 And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the LORD of hosts their God. 6 In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem. 7 The LORD also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house, of David, and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, do not magnify themselves against Judah. 8 In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem: and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David: and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them. 9 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
I do not think it necessary to enter into an explanation of the many blessed promises contained in these verses. It is sufficient to say, that everything that is gracious is promised to Judah and Jerusalem ; and everything of evil to their enemies. The Lord will fight for them, and woe to them that oppose his people. But, Reader! do not fail to spiritualize the whole of' what is here said, and see how far, in the instance of Israel now, the same is verified. Is not Jesus both a sun and a shield to his redeemed in all ages? Will he not give grace, and give glory? Psalms 89:11 ). Doth he not feed them in ordinances, support them in all their exercises, visit them, sup with them, and they with him? And, Reader, do observe the sure effects of those gracious acts of Christ. It is not enough to destroy their enemies, he will be as to Abraham, both their shield, and their exceeding great reward. Genesis 15:1 . Hence the feeblest and humblest among them shall he as David, who though a stripling, subdued Goliath and the house of David, that is, our spiritual David, even Christ, shall be as God; from union with Christ, and interest in Christ, his wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption shall be their's, who is the angel of the covenant. Sweet, precious, and refreshing consideration, to every poor feeble child of God! It is not what we are in ourselves, but what we are in him; not our attainments, or strength, or state, but Christ's all-sufficiency, all fulness, and perfection!
And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him as one that is in bitterness for his first-born. 11 In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of IIadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon. 12 And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, , and their wives apart; 13 The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart; 14 All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart.
Here is the great Gospel promise of the New Testament dispensation; as Christ, with all his fulness, was the promise of the Old. And had the Prophet Zechariah been raised up by God the Holy Ghost, to have brought the Church of Jesus this one promise only, every true believer in Christ would have found cause to bless the Lord for the ministry of this man, through every period of the Church. This was, and is the great blessing in the charter of grace, which Jehovah promised Christ as God-man-Mediator in that covenant, as the result of his great undertaking. The Father engaged to give it to the seed of Christ, and to his offspring. And to this the Lord Jesus had an eye in all he told the Church concerning the Holy Ghost, and his seven-fold gifts, which should take place after his departure and return to glory, when he had finished redemption. See Isaiah 44:1-5 and Isaiah 59:21 . Hence all those blessed assurances of Christ we meet with in his farewell Sermons. John 14:0 ; John 15:0 and John 16:0 Chapters; in which the blessed Jesus hath so particularly described both the person and offices of God the Holy Ghost. I would beg the Reader to look at those scriptures I have referred to, and then read the account of the first outpouring of the Spirit, on the day of Pentecost, in confirmation of the same. Acts 2:0 . throughout. And, as an antidote and preservative against the infidelity of the present adulterous and sinful generation, look at those scriptures also which tend to confirm the same, in assuring the Church, that the indwelling residence of the Holy Ghost in the hearts of believers, was promised in all ages of the Church, from the first descent of the Spirit, after Christ's ascension, until Christ shall again return in glory. See Ephesians 4:8-13 ; 1 Corinthians 12:0 throughout. Acts 19:2 ; Romans 8:9-17 . When the Reader hath paid all due attention to those several portions of the word of God, let him look attentively to this blessed verse of Zechariah. Let the Reader observe upon whom the effusions of the Holy Ghost is promised to be poured out; namely, the house of David, even our. Almighty David, Christ; and the whole inhabitants of his Church, Jerusalem; that is, both Jew and Gentile, agreeably to the Father's promise. Isaiah 49:6 . I beg the Reader next to observe the characters marked of those blessed outpourings; namely, the spirit of grace, and of supplications. By the spirit of grace, we may include the whole gifts of God the Holy Ghost, teaching, illuminating, comforting, directing, and blessing the seed and offspring of Christ, in the knowledge and love of all the persons of the Godhead, for their merciful manifestations in the covenant of redemption. And by the spirit of supplications, must comprize the whole of prayer and praise, in the exercise of all those goings forth of the soul of a believer upon the person, work, and righteousness of the Lord Jesus. Psalms 43:3-4 ; Romans 8:26-27 ; The verse then goes on to describe the result of the Spirit's work in the heart; and they shall look on him whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him. Here we have not only a sure and unerring prophecy of Christ's being pierced, but also a blessed prophecy of a work to be wrought by the Holy Ghost in the heart of all his redeemed. The believer is led by that grace poured out, so to look to Christ, as One whom we have pierced; that is, to see that our sins became the cause of Christ's death. And the soul on whom the Holy Ghost pours out of his gracious influences, so beholds Christ, and so regards the cross. Not the Jews, not Herod, not Pontius Pilate, but my sins (the soul will then say) that crucified the Lord of life and glory. Hence will follow the mourning as for an only son, a bitterness as for a first born; that is, sincere heartfelt sorrow; nothing feigned, but real, deep, and lasting. The mourning is so great as to be compared to that in the sorrow of Hadadrimmon, in the valley of Megiddo. Some have thought that two seasons of Israel's mourning are here referred to, The first in the destruction of the Benjamites, at the rock Rimmon. See Judges 20:45-47 . And the other, in the instance of Josiah, killed at Megiddo. 2 Kings 23:29-30 . But the Reader should further observe, that this mourning under the Spirit's operations, is described, not only as a general mourning, in which the whole land. that is, the whole family of Christ, both Jew and Gentile, mourn; but special, and personal mourning. Sin is a personal thing, and therefore every individual child of God, groaning under sin, will feel that true sorrow, which a view of Christ on the cross, dying for sin, must and will occasion. The families apart, and their wives apart, seems to intimate; that these gracious impressions are to themselves secret and retired. The heart knoweth its own bitterness. Proverbs 14:10 . The ministers, the house of Levi, are said to weep between the porch and the altar. Joel 2:17 . Such is the spirit of grace and supplication, and such are the gracious effects!
Almighty Lord! we desire to praise thee, for thy tender mercies to Jerusalem. Do, Lord, as thou hast said. May the Church of Jesus be a cup of trembling to all that dare oppose her great salvation in her Lord. Smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness, that , would trample on thy peaceable followers; and may all the inhabitants of thy Jerusalem, thine holy city, have their strength in the Lord of hosts, their God !
Reader! see, I pray you, whether the Lord's strength is made perfect in your weakness; and as you know where, and in whom your confidence can alone be found, enquire whether the sweet promises in this Chapter be in your experience. If he that is feeble among the Lord's people, be as David ; and the house of David as God; are these testimonies made personal with you? If it be among the gracious promises to the seed of Christ, that the Lord will pour .out upon them both a spirit of grace, and a spirit of supplications; do you know that you are Christ's seed by these sure marks and characters? Doth the Holy Ghost lead you, teach you, guide you, and help you, in your approaches to the mercy seat? Doth He glorify to your view the Lord Jesus? Doth He take of the things of Christ, and shew to you? Doth He shew Christ's fulness to your soul, and your want of him, in such a way as to make it appear, that Christ is exactly suited to you, and you to Christ? This is to take of Christ, and shew to the people. And this is to glorify Christ, and comfort a poor believer. It is in this way the Holy Ghost confirms those sweet and blessed promises, in becoming both a spirit of grace, and a spirit of supplication; a spirit of truth, and the Holy Ghost the Comforter. May the Lord give both to Writer and Reader, daily testimonies both to this scripture, and to all the promises, which in Christ Jesus are yea and Amen, to the glory of God by us.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Zechariah 12". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://studylight.org/
the Fifth Week after Epiphany