Unashamed

I’m working my way through memorizing the book of Zechariah (which, regardless of which Scripture you choose, is a highly recommended discipline), and I’m struck by the thread of Yahweh’s relationship to Jerusalem through the early chapters.

Then the Angel of the LORD responded, “How long, LORD of Hosts, will You withhold mercy from Jerusalem and the cities of Judah that You have been angry with these 70 years?” (1:12)

So the angel who was speaking with me said, “Proclaim: The LORD of Hosts says: I am extremely jealous for Jerusalem and Zion” (1:14).

The LORD will once more comfort Zion and again choose Jerusalem (1:17).

He said to him, “Run and tell this young man: Jerusalem will be inhabited without walls because of the number of people and livestock in it.” The declaration of the LORD–“I will be a wall of fire around it, and I will be the glory within it” (2:5).

For the LORD of Hosts says this: “He has sent Me for His glory against the nations who are plundering you, for anyone who touches you touches the pupil of His eye” (2:8).

“The LORD will take possession of Judah as His portion in the Holy Land, and He will once again choose Jerusalem” (2:12).

The LORD said to Satan: “The LORD rebuke you, Satan! May the LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you!” (3:2a).

Here’s the flow: In chapter 1, the mercy-withholding anger of Yahweh gives way to His fierce jealousy. Instead of forsaking Jerusalem, He will “choose” her again. Then in chapter 2, when the promised measuring line comes to be stretched out over Jerusalem, the angel bearing it is sent away, because the promise of a wall-less Jerusalem is made. Walls would be not only obsolete, but a hindrance, due to the prosperity within. Where brick and mortar would be absent, Yahweh Himself promised to be their personal, present protection as a wall of fire without and glory within. Justice would be rendered to the oppressors, because to hurt Jerusalem was to poke Yahweh in His eye. Once the nations are dealt with, Jerusalem will once again be chosen.

Then comes Zechariah 3:2, which hits me every time I read it. Yahweh rebukes Satan, and in doing so identifies Himself as the One who has chosen Jerusalem. He names Himself “Jerusalem-Chooser.” So far from abandoning Jerusalem is He that He takes them as His name!

This is precisely what we see in Hebrews 2:

For the One who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. That is why He is not ashamed to call them brothers, saying, ‘I will proclaim Your name to My brothers; I will sing hymns to You in the congregation.’ Again, ‘I will trust in Him.’ And again, ‘Here I am with the children God gave me.’ (Hebrews 2:11-13 HCSB).

“Here I am with the children God gave me.” Jesus is not ashamed to stand with us and call us His own. He is not ashamed to be known as Jerusalem-Chooser, nor is He ashamed to be Brother.

O the deep, deep love of Jesus:
Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free;
Rolling as a mighty ocean
In its fullness over me.
Underneath me, all around me,
Is the current of Thy love!
Leading onward, leading homeward,
To Thy glorious rest above.

O the deep, deep love of Jesus:
Spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth,
Changeth never, nevermore.
How He watches o’er His loved ones,
Died to call them all His own,
How for them He intercedeth,
Watcheth o’er them from the throne!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus:
Love of every love the best!
‘Tis an ocean vast of blessing;
‘Tis a haven sweet of rest.
O the deep, deep love of Jesus,
‘Tis a heaven of heavens to me!
And it lifts me up to glory
For it lifts me up to Thee!

— Samuel Francis

 

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