The Coming of Zion’s King

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Zechariah 9:1-17, Psalm 100:1-5, Isaiah 62:3

I like to be right. But it’s not always enough to be right.

As a child, I would pertly correct my little sister with bits of wisdom such as, “Frankenstein is actually the name of the doctor, so the monster could more accurately be called ‘Frankenstein’s monster.’” After that, my mom patiently explained to me that there is a difference between being right and being obnoxiously right. It’s important to know the difference, because even if the proper pluralization of “cul de sac” is actually “culs de sac,” you still kinda want to roll your eyes at someone for pointing it out. We’ve probably all been on the receiving end of someone else’s unsolicited commentary that is so obnoxiously right that they’re just wrong.

Christ, on the other hand, is always right. He is the definition of right. But—and this is the amazing part—He is graciously right. The Lord conquers graciously. He does not conquer us and then commence with trash talk or years of making us feel inadequate. To be conquered by Him is to win the greatest victory of all time. Remember Jacob, wrestling the angel of the Lord at Peniel—he was injured but that was the only way to win the victory (Genesis 32:22–31).

In Zechariah 9, we see how the word of the Lord promises to come against the lands that surround His people, places renowned for their wickedness, like Tyre and Sidon. Though these nations and peoples have gathered temporal wealth, God will strip it all away. Though they have amassed the might of violent arms, their pride will be destroyed. Their wealth will be cast into the sea, and they will be “consumed by fire” (v.4). This is the language of God’s judgment against the wicked.

But a striking thing happens: when their kings have been removed, their strength has been destroyed, and their hope has failed, then God will turn and be gracious. He will even make of them a remnant, as He had with the clan of Judah.

The image of the great King of Zion, riding on the colt of a donkey is the perfect depiction of Christ, who wages war with an offer of peace, and destroys His enemies with His own death. He confounds the wisdom of the world, and undoes the reasoning of our own hearts.

“Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
Shout in triumph, Daughter Jerusalem!
Look, your King is coming to you;
he is righteous and victorious.”
–Zechariah 9:9

All too often, the Old Testament judgments of God are misunderstood and characterized as vindictive and punitive. But Zechariah 9 is a reminder of the true nature of His judgment. While He does indeed detest idolatry and wickedness, His judgments cannot be separated from His love.

I am reminded of C.S. Lewis’s statement in The Problem of Pain: “If God were proud He would hardly have us on such terms: but He is not proud, He stoops to conquer, He will have us even though we have shown that we prefer everything else to Him, and come to Him because there is ‘nothing better’ now to be had.”

The Creator of the universe has donned the garb of a servant to humbly wash the filth from our feet. As He did with Saul on the road to Damascus, our God comes to convert enemies into beloved children.

He stoops to conquer our hearts. Amen.

(26) Comments

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26 thoughts on "The Coming of Zion’s King"

  1. Kari Villarreal says:

    A powerful reminder of the counter-cultural nature of our God. He conquers enemies in His death and postures Himself as a servant to wash the feet of His sinful followers. Wow.

  2. Lacey Mollel says:

    He stoops to conquer. Is is not too proud. He loves us even though we are so imperfect. Even though we continually, time after tome, choose everything but him. Wow!!! Amazing love. Amazing grace!

  3. Terri says:

    For Karen: Thank you very much. That’s very helpful

  4. Allison Sherwood says:

    I love the juxtaposition of the phrase “He stoops to conquer our hearts.” There is nothing more loving and extravagant!

    1. McKaela Lee says:

      Love this!

  5. Karen says:

    For Terri, here is my meager interpretation of the correlation of all the readings today. I think the essence of both Isaiah 62:3 and Psalm 100:1-5 show God’s love for us as His people and how He longs to gather us back to Him when we have strayed from His path or followed after other gods (idols). If we turn back to His loving embrace, He always welcomes us back so graciously as He welcomed Israel’s remnant back with the foreshadowing and promise of a King (Jesus).

    Zechariah 9;16 says, “On that day the LORD their God will save them as the flock of His people; for like jewels in a crown, they will sparkle over His land.”

    Isaiah 62:3 says, “You will be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, a royal diadem in the palm of your God.”

    Psalms 100:3 says, “Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his ; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.”

    Each of these verses reflect on God’s gracious and overwhelming love for His people and for us.
    Also, if you read the He Reads Truth version of today’s reading, it helps to look at it in a different way.

  6. Bree Beal says:

    Jesus is the perfect gentleman. I love that our SRT devotional today says “the Lord is graciously right, He conquers graciously, He doesn’t trash talk us or make us feel inadequate.” Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords. We can rejoice in that truth today. Jesus comes after us with love that is relentless and radical. It’s a love that captures our hearts and never lets go. His love is a consuming fire and more than 2000 years ago He came to us as a newborn baby that grew into a humble servant to set captives free. He promises to make everything right. I look forward to that day with great excitement.

    Father God, oh how I love Jesus, oh how I love Jesus, oh how I love Jesus, because He first loved me. Father, I thank You for Your Son for He is Zion’s righteous King. In Jesus Name! Amen.

  7. Terri says:

    How do Psalm 100:1-5 and Isaiah 62:3 in particular relate to Zechariah 9?

    1. McKaela Lee says:

      I understand it as a showing of God’s unending, relentless pursuit of his people.