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TO CHEW ON: "Even those from afar shall come and build the temple of the Lord…" Zechariah 6:15
After a series of more visions, the crowning of priest/king Joshua (obviously a type of Christ), the proclamation of the Branch's rule (we talked about that HERE), Zechariah comes again to the subject of the temple rebuild and an interesting detail: "Even those from afar shall come and build the temple."
Who are "those from afar"?
The author of my Bible's study notes understands these to be "… believing Gentiles who submit to the Messiah" - D. W. Shibley, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1255.
Though God's plans and promises are obviously spoken to and over the Jews, especially in the Old Testament, there is a thread of promise to Gentile nations, flowing through the whole Bible. Some places we catch glimpses of it:
- God promised to bless all the families of the earth through Abraham - Genesis 12:3.
- "Strangers" join Jacob in the land to enjoy God's mercy - Isaiah 14:1.
- All "these (who) gather together and come to you…" are compared to Israel's bridal ornament - Isaiah 49:18.
- Jeremiah talks of a time that Gentiles, having found their belief systems "worthless and unprofitable," will come to You (Messiah) from all over the earth - Jeremiah 16:19.
- The prophet Zechariah refers in several other places of the Gentiles joining the LORD and becoming His people - Zechariah 2:11; 8:23.
- We remember, of course, the post-resurrection saga of Gentile acceptance of the early church. Some places it's talked about are Acts 10:43, 11:1; 13:48; 15:7; 28:28.
- Apostle Paul brings this blessing-on-the-Gentiles chain full circle when he hearkens back to Abraham and tells us plainly that the blessing comes through Jesus and the Holy Spirit, received through faith: "That the blessing of Abraham might come up on the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith… There is neither Jew nor Greek … for you are all one in Christ Jesus" - Galatians 3:14,28.
- And so the heavenly voices in Revelation can issue this triumphant cry of international unity:
"The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever" - Revelation 11:15.So we see that whether we're Jews or Gentiles, we have a part in God's plan and are part of His building project!
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank You that Your salvation is for everyone and anyone in every race, nation and location. And thank You for the Jews, through whose family line You came. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.