The Prophecy of Zechariah

December 5, 2021
Posted in Sermons
December 5, 2021 UCC User

12. Holding on to God’s Promises

God’s abundant promises for His people should motivate us to pray for their fulfillment.

3 “My anger burns against the shepherds, and I will punish the leaders; for the Lord Almighty will care for his flock, the people of Judah, and make them like a proud horse in battle. 4 From Judah will come the cornerstone, from him the tent peg, from him the battle bow, from him every ruler. 5 Together they will be like warriors in battle  trampling their enemy into the mud of the streets. They will fight because the Lord is with them, and they will put the enemy horsemen to shame. 6 “I will strengthen Judah and save the tribes of Joseph. I will restore them because I have compassion on them. They will be as though I had not rejected them, for I am the Lord their God and I will answer them. 7 The Ephraimites will become like warriors, and their hearts will be glad as with wine. Their children will see it and be joyful; their hearts will rejoice in the Lord. 8 I will signal for them and gather them in. Surely I will redeem them;  they will be as numerous as before. 9 Though I scatter them among the peoples, yet in distant lands they will remember me. They and their children will survive, and they will return. 10 I will bring them back from Egypt and gather them from Assyria. I will bring them to Gilead and Lebanon, and there will not be room enough for them. 11 They will pass through the sea of trouble; the surging sea will be subdued and all the depths of the Nile will dry up. Assyria’s pride will be brought down and Egypt’s scepter will pass away. 12 I will strengthen them in the Lord and in his name they will live securely,” declares the Lord. – Zechariah 10:3-12

Sermon Points

I.God’s Promise of Deliverance from Her Enemies vv 2-5

II. God’s Promise of Restoration vv 6-12

Quick Thought: Shepherding One Another with the Word

In Ezekiel 34:2-3 (referenced in todays sermon), the prophet speaks out on God’s behalf against the false shepherds of Israel, who cared for themselves but not the flock:

“This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock.”

One of the primary responsibilities of a shepherd is to feed the sheep. Elders shepherd the sheep by leading them into the green pastures of God’s Word, where they can feed for themselves. God’s sheep feed on God’s Word. As they feed, the shepherds guard them and protect them from wolves ‘who would injure them with false teaching.

However, although pastoral care is the responsibility of leaders within each congregation, it is clear that it does not belong to them exclusively. In Colossians 1:28, Paul describes his ministry, along with that of his colleagues: “We proclaim [Christ], admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.” Of particular interest in this context of pastoral care are the words ‘admonishing’ and ‘teaching’.  The word teach is mainly concerned with the impartation of positive truth. ‘Admonish’ (noutheteo) is literally “putting in mind”, and has a corrective element to it: putting right a wrong way of thinking through the truth.

In other words, what Paul and his team do in their gospel ministry, and at the heart of this ministry of mutual teaching and admonition, is gospel truth. So, let’s follow our Good Shepherd and shepherd one another to the green pastures of God’s Word.

Jesus completes Israel’s story, but not by satisfying popular demands for military conquest. His victory is extraordinary indeed, and the enemies he defeats are not the ones walking the streets of Jerusalem with swords strapped to their sides. Instead, it was at the cross that Jesus finally lived up to his name, for it was there that He saved his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). He truly is the Servant King.