Jealousy, that is the word God used to describe His protectiveness of Zion, and the fury that He felt at Israel’s betrayal by following false gods (Zechariah 8:2). Still did He tell the prophet that He returned to Zion, “and dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called the city of truth...”
In that day, approximately 520 years before the birth of Christ which we celebrate this day, God promised that the aged and the young will again become denizens of Jerusalem, the city that had been destroyed and emptied of inhabitants at the hands of the Chaldeans (Zechariah 8:3). Children will play, running up and down the streets (Zechariah 8:4). The Lord says He will turn the adversity of the past to prosperity and joy in the future (Zechariah 8:10-13). He will alter Israel and Judah from being “a curse among the heathen… ye shall be a blessing: fear not, but let your hands be strong.”
This is also the story of the remnant of Israel, the Lord reopening the land to His chosen, a thing “marvelous in the eyes of the remnant…” (Zechariah 8:6-7) as He says that He “will save My people from the east country and from the west country.” In other translations, “the land of the rising sun and the land of the setting sun,” but the tale is the same, God would, and did, bring together the captivity to dwell in Zion.
But the story is also a parable… the literal Israelites never did return to Jerusalem. The ten tribes dispersed to Assyria – Ezekiel 5:10, “and the whole remnant of thee will I scatter unto all the winds” – before the southern kingdom, Judah, went into captivity. Although Judah returned to rebuild the temple (Ezra 1:2) Israel became wanderers among the nations (gentiles), assimilating into the pagan societies. “And the LORD said, Even thus shall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles, whither I will drive them.” (Ezekiel 4:13; see Ezekiel 5:2 and 12, Jeremiah 23:8, Isaiah 11:12, 43:5-6).
Yet God told Zechariah that they will find blessing and He gives them (and us) the means by which to receive it. Zechariah 8:16, “These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates:”
8:17, “And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the LORD.”
Of course, it’s quite evident that so many within these borders of America are not practicing the directive not to conceive evil against their neighbors (such as the Occupy crowd chanting that the rich are the enemy, spouting class warfare), not to give one’s heart to swear falsely by the name of God (Matthew 5:33). This comes as insincerity, false oaths taking the name of God in vain, which is to swear falsely by His name, particularly calling oneself a believer when one believes not in Christ as savior.
Many people of the world (nations, gentiles) shall seek the Lord in Jerusalem (Ezekiel 8:20-22). Is this not a parable to the seeking of Freedom, called forth by the Lord, in the lands of America?
This, a prophecy of Christ and the ten tribes that would re-emerge from the nations (Israel as the assimilated gentiles) to believe on the Son and His Sacrifice: Ezekiel 8:23, “In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.” It is also a shadow of the nations spilling their people from over their borders to make the passage to a new land, be planted with new hope, grasping the robe of the Savior and the freedom He embodies that formed the root of a new nation unlike any other before seen on earth.
Christ is the catalyst for bringing the gentiles into the fold, as well as the embodiment of true Freedom established by “the protection of Divine Providence” upon which our founding fathers relied as they declared independence, pledging their Lives, Fortunes and sacred Honor.
The circle is complete in seeing the dispersion of Israel gathered at the foot of Christ, accepting the Creator’s freedom by returning the seekers of liberty (the faithful) to the shores (His skirts) of this nation.
Be blessed in your sojourn of freedom this Christmas Day!
A. Dru Kristenev and Toddy Littman