ZECHARIAH THE PROPHET – LESSON 12
JERUSALEM – THE HOLY CITY
In Zechariah 8:1-8, the LORD speaks to the prophet of His love for Jerusalem (Zion). He says, “I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy and…with great fury.” His jealousy was due to great love for his people Israel and Jerusalem.
In Verse 3 God says, “I am returned unto Zion…” He was “jealous” because His beloved people had deserted Him in favor of demon gods and was therefore punished by Babylon. Now that they have paid for their apostacy with 70 years of Babylonian exile, He brought them back to Israel and Jerusalem. God told them (paraphrased) “I have returned to dwell with you in Jerusalem.”
There are two applications to verse three, a common occurrence in prophecy. First is the immediate meaning for Zechariah’s day that the people had returned, and God’s presence returns to Jerusalem with them as the Temple is being rebuilt.
However, the greater application lies yet in the future as evidenced by the phrase in V. 3 that says, “Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth.” This looks ahead to the Messianic Kingdom of Jesus following His return. Jesus is the Truth as He spoke in John 14:6. He is the very essence of all universal truth. Jerusalem will only be called “a city of truth” when Jesus establishes His earthly throne there.
The world of today does not consider Israel whose capitol is (and always has rightfully been) Jerusalem. The world hates Israel and despises that the Jews (and America) consider the city as Israel’s capitol. They see no “truth” to it.
There will come the day during Messiah’s reign that Jerusalem will indeed be called a “city of truth” because The Truth shall reign there. Jerusalem shall be called “the holy mountain, the mountain of the LORD of hosts.”
In fact, the three major monotheistic religions of the world, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam which all consider Jerusalem to be “holy” to their religion. Although, the God of Truth, Messiah Jesus, does not yet rule there yet, but he shall in His future earthly kingdom.
Further evidence is seen in verses 7-8 where god says, “I will save (gather) My people from the east country and from the west country, and I will bring them, and they shall dwell in…Jerusalem…and I will be their God, in truth and righteousness.”
This could not have been the case during Zechariah’s time, nor yet in our time. First, although there is much country to the east of Israel (Jerusalem), there is no country to the west. There is only a great ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Atlantic Ocean. However, many of His people shall come from the “West country” from across the ocean because America has the largest Jewish population in the world. During Christ’s Messianic Kingdom, many from the “West Country” shall go to Jerusalem, some to settle there and some to make a visit or a pilgrimage. That could not have happened during this prophet’s time.
Secondly, v. 8 says, “I will be their God in truth and righteousness.” Jesus is the Truth and will be God, present in Jerusalem. Jesus is also our righteousness. We, as believers, are “clothed” in His “garments” of righteousness. Man has no righteousness of his own apart from Jesus Christ.
We can be clothed with truth and righteousness today through our faith on Jesus. We await the day when His truth and righteousness will permanently dwell in Jerusalem.