A WALL OF FIRE
Lord, protect us as a wall of fire.
Read ZECHARIAH 2
A Man With a Measuring Line
2 [a]Then I looked up, and there before me was a man with a measuring line in his hand. 2 I asked, “Where are you going?”
He answered me, “To measure Jerusalem, to find out how wide and how long it is.”
3 While the angel who was speaking to me was leaving, another angel came to meet him 4 and said to him: “Run, tell that young man, ‘Jerusalem will be a city without walls because of the great number of people and animals in it. 5 And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will be its glory within.’
6 “Come! Come! Flee from the land of the north,” declares the Lord, “for I have scattered you to the four winds of heaven,” declares the Lord.
7 “Come, Zion! Escape, you who live in Daughter Babylon!” 8 For this is what the Lord Almighty says: “After the Glorious One has sent me against the nations that have plundered you—for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye— 9 I will surely raise my hand against them so that their slaves will plunder them.[b] Then you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me.
10 “Shout and be glad, Daughter Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you,” declares the Lord. 11 “Many nations will be joined with the Lord in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you. 12 The Lord will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land and will again choose Jerusalem. 13 Be still before the Lord, all mankind, because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.”
a Zechariah 2:1 In Hebrew texts 2:1-13 is numbered 2:5-17.
b Zechariah 2:9 Or says after … eye: 9 “I … plunder them.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Think of situations in which you have felt vulnerable. What walls did you try to build as protection? Did you seek God’s help and protection? How did God respond?
After two visions demonstrating that God knows what is happening in the world, including knowing that the nations that he had used to punish Israel had overstepped the mark (Zechariah 1:15) and that he will now punish them and restore his people, Zechariah receives another vision. He sees a man being stopped from measuring the boundaries of Jerusalem. Four reasons are given for this: the city will exist without walls; many humans and animals will live in it; God will be a wall of fire around it; God’s glory will dwell in it. This promise of prosperity and security directs all those Judeans still in Babylon and elsewhere to leave and return to Jerusalem. The Hebrew in verse 8a is obscure, but what follows is clear: God cares for his people. They are like the pupil in one’s eye, which one instinctively protects. In language which alludes to the Exodus, God promises to act so that his people will plunder those who enslaved them (Exodus 12:33–36).
God’s “wall of fire” (5) promises security but not an easy life. Jesus warned his disciples that they would face the same kind of persecution that he did (John 15:20, 21). However, in our sufferings for Christ we remain aware of the security of God’s presence with us (1 Peter 4:12–14).
Ezekiel saw God’s glory leave the temple and Jerusalem (Ezekiel 10:18, 19; 11:22, 23). God now promises to return and be present with his people (v 10). He also promises that other nations will come to join them in worshipping him. This was foreshadowed in the promise given to Abraham (Genesis 12:1–3). It was fulfilled through the death of Jesus on the cross, which enables Gentiles as well as believing Jews to become heirs of God’s promise to Abraham (Galatians 3:26–29).
Many Christians today are suffering for their faith. Pray that they will know God’s “wall of fire” around them. Find out about the situation in a country of your choice.
Lord, we trust You that, no matter what chaos is currently swirling in the world, You will protect Your people who are obedient and seek You.
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