“I will rouse your sons, O Zion, against your sons, O Greece, and make you like a warrior’s sword.” —Zechariah 9:13b
How we love taking credit for our accomplishments, often forgetting we’re servants of The King. This is no lowly worm-theology statement, however—serving The King of Glory is blessed and full of purpose.
It is rather easy, however, to begin our days only considering what we need to accomplish, what goal we need to achieve. In our pursuit of excellence (which itself can often be misguided) we find the end result simply too great to resist. Our progress equals better this, better that, better me, better you. Accolades, accolades, accolades.
And in this frame of mind, the Christmas season can become somewhat of a ritual in the most materialistic and negative sense. We look forward to the gathering of friends, and the music productions, and the lights and eggnog, the trees and gifts.
But what about our longing for The One who comes to set our hearts ablaze, to fight for us, to comfort us, to carry us upon his horse of peace and show us a new vision for the world—a heavenly vision?
Salvation From The King Who Was Saved
Zion’s king comes! And though he comes cloaked in humility and peace, he finds betrayal and death. “See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey,” writes the prophet Zechariah.
But the hope in this passage isn’t that he brings salvation (“having salvation” is a poor translation according to scholars). But that he himself experiences salvation from His heavenly Father—YHWH. Even Christ himself will call out to God, and God will fight for his son.
God establishes the rule of Christ to the ends of the earth. Think about, then what he will also do for you and I.
In this Zechariah passage God keeps saying, “I will …” I will: take away the chariots, free your prisoners, restore twice as much, bend Judah, bend my bow, rouse your sons.”
Oh children of Zion, God himself bends his bow to make his children like a warrior’s sword. And we see him do this with the Son, the Christ, who defeats death with death itself!
Only Through God, Do We Prosper
He becomes our fighter! He becomes our hope! He stretches out his hand to uphold us in times of distress! He prospers us!
Let us not forget today that in our well devised plans, it is God who supplies victory. We are his jewels in the land. We are his sheep, and he cares for us. Why do we toil in distress and worry, anxiety and fear?
Today, rest in the prayer of “I will, I will, I will.” Repeat the words of God today as you encounter the real and see if releasing the thirst for accomplishment allows a new thirst to surface—a thirst for Fire.
Timothy Willard is the author of five books, including Longing For More: Daily Reflections on Finding God in the Rhythms of Life and the forthcoming The Life-Giving Adventure of Chasing Beauty (Eerdmans, 2019). He has collaborated on over 20 books and has written, consulted and served as spiritual director for organizations such as Chick-fil-A, Catalyst, Q Ideas and Praxis Labs. When he’s not riding the trails in the Appalachian mountains you can find him by the fire with his three daughters and his wife making up stories about Tom the back yard badger. He lives somewhere in the south Charlotte woods.