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Bible Commentaries
Zechariah 9

Sermon Bible CommentarySermon Bible Commentary

Verse 12

Zechariah 9:12

The prophet is speaking to those who are emphatically called "Christ's prisoners," those for whom, by His kingly power, He has gone up on high, and given to them repentance, that He might make them spiritual captives.

I. No words could be framed more appropriate, or expressive of souls under spiritual distress, than those which the prophet here uses: "prisoners of hope." Why does the believer's soul feel so fast bound and so miserable? He was not always so; but he has felt so ever since he began to hope, ever since a nobler and a loftier feeling came into his mind. From that hour, when the love of God first awoke in his soul, he has longed to go forth into a wider field than he can ever compass, and to expatiate on the image and the work and the glory of his God. Therefore, because his desires are so large, his soul feels so imprisoned. "Hope" has made this world feel so narrow, his body so cumbersome, those sins so heavy, and that nature such a great hindrance.

II. The prisoners of hope should "turn to the stronghold," keep close to the Lord Jesus. Pass your waiting time inside the fortress of Jesus. Let Him be your tower for ever, and in that stronghold He will bury your fears and keep your joys.

III. God Himself has graciously added the reason of the confidence of those who have by His grace exchanged the prison for the stronghold. "Even today do I declare that I will render double unto thee." It appears evident that in these words God is continuing the address which He was making in the preceding verse, and that He speaks to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is part of the engagement which the Father has made to the Son. When Christ sees of the travail of His soul He is satisfied, as when one delights in a purchase, and thinks that the price was not to be compared with the value received.

J. Vaughan, Sermons, 10th series, p. 149.

Fear and hope have two things in common. (1) They are both prospective. They have to do with things future. (2) They regard that future as possible. With these two points of resemblance, hope and fear are in all else opposite and contradictory to each other. Fear is the apprehension of a future possible evil; hope is the anticipation of a future possible good.

I. What is the place of hope in the Gospel? We believe that Christ makes it everything. St. Paul even says, "We are saved by hope." And if there could be stronger words than these, we find them in that brief and touching account of Christ's own life below, "For the joy which was set before Him, He endured the Cross." What is that but saying that the anticipation of a blessed future, which is the definition of hope, supported our Lord Jesus Christ in working our redemption?

II. Consider two of these future good things which God has promised, and which therefore the Christian hopes for. (1) One of these is growth, progress, at last perfection, in holiness. This is a hope peculiar to the Gospel. It is also a promise. If Christ be true, He offers us holiness. That is what makes His religion a Gospel. (2) I knit into one the hope of holiness and the hope of heaven. What is happiness, what is glory, but the being perfectly holy, like God, filled with the Spirit? The Holy Spirit is called "the earnest of our inheritance." Why? Because the inheritance itself is the Spirit; the having the Spirit at last not by measure, the being satisfied with God's likeness, the being made to drink abundantly of what the Psalmist calls "the river of His pleasures." That is heaven. And so the one hope runs up into the other, and he who is athirst for holiness is on his way to heaven.

C. J. Vaughan, Last Words at Doncaster, p. 54.

References: Zechariah 9:12 . Clergyman's Magazine, vol. xxii., p. 213; Homiletic Quarterly , vol. i., p. 101; G. Brooks, Outlines of Sermons, p. 175.Zechariah 9:13 . Ibid., p. 333.Zechariah 9:16 , Zechariah 9:17 . H. W. Beecher, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxvi., p. 388.

Verse 17

Zechariah 9:17

I. These visions of earthly blessing have their heavenly substance. They show us the joy and the feast of the old creation; God's people rejoicing under His benign Fatherhood, eating the fruits of the earth with a holy gladness. But what are all these the joy of God's people in Jerusalem, the holy mountain, the cities of peace, the fair lands, the fruitful vineyards, the corn and the wine, the harvest and the vintage, the shouting and the feast of ingathering what are they all but one great prophecy, a symbol and a sacrament, the old creation in its earthly festival witnessing and waiting for the new? The text is a luminous prophecy of the Word made flesh, revealed first by personal manifestation upon earth, and then by His Spirit through the Church. What is this goodness and this beauty but the perfect mystery of His Divine manhood? They are not so much two attributes as two aspects of His Person. Goodness is inward beauty; beauty is outward goodness. They are inseparable, and express to us the perfection of Him who is God and man; perfect alike in both; in majesty and meekness, in love and in humility, in His passion and in His power.

II. And as it is a prophecy of the incarnation, so it is also of the Holy Eucharist, the feast of the new creation. Consider the blessings which the Lord of the harvest pours out on those who come to this supper, where He is both the Master and the Feast. (1) The first grace He gives is rest. He gives rest from the burden of sin, assuring us of forgiveness. The consciousness of past guilt remains, but it is suspended in the consciousness of present rest. The holy communion also sets the heart and will free from the misery of inward faults. (2) When God gives rest, He gives also refreshment. He renews our strength for labours yet to come. The soul wastes faster than the body. Every night gives back to the body what every day takes from it; but with the soul, not so. The spiritual decays run on into to-morrow, and to-morrow begins with an inclination to a lower tone; its own temptations swell the evil; one day heaps its sin upon another, and our spiritual decline gains in speed as it gains in time. These decays are always advancing in every soul not supported by habitual communion with Christ. (3) In this great feast of joy He gives us the constant perception of His love. Love alone, by its own kindred perception, feels love. And this crowning grace the Master gives to His servants at this feast of rest. His love falls as a light of fire, making hearts that long for Him to burn.

H. E. Manning, Sermons, vol. iv., p. 228.

References: Zechariah 10:6 . Spurgeon, My Sermon Notes: Ecclesiastes to Malachi, p. 374.Zechariah 10:12 . Ibid., p. 377; Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxx., No. 1805.Zechariah 10:0 W. Lindsay Alexander, Homiletic Magazine, vol. viii., p. 356. Zechariah 11:1-8 . Ibid., vol. ix., p. 178.

Bibliographical Information
Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Zechariah 9". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/sbc/zechariah-9.html.
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