The kingdom will be the LORD’s.
The prophets foretold of the coming Messiah King, Who would destroy the enemies of Israel, sit on the throne of His father David – and deliver His people from their sins. Both Mary in her humble song of praise and Zacharias in his glorious benediction rejoiced that the many prophecies of their coming Messiah were soon to be realised. Mary rejoiced in God my Saviour, Who would reside in her womb for nine months and Zacharias announced deliverance from their enemies and rescue from all who hated them, for God had raised up a horn of Salvation in the house of His servant David.
Both prophets and angels longed to look into God’s plan of Salvation, which He purposed in His eternal council chambers – whereby He would save His people, Israel. But in His wisdom men and angels only saw through a glass darkly. As they peered into a distant future they saw but one mountain peak of deliverance – when streams would rejoice and valleys sing and the earth would be filled with the glory of God…. the time when the kingdom of our God and of His Christ would be established. It would be a time of great joy and much rejoicing, for Israel’s enemies would be put to flight and she would be elevated to become the head and not the tail of the nations.
It was Obadiah who announced a blistering message of judgement on the nation of Edom but his warning message to these descendants of Esau concluded with a beautiful promise of a Saviour (Who is Christ the Lord) – Who would come to Zion. The Deliverer would judge the people of Esau – but the kingdom shall be for the Lord.
Both Mary and Zacharias must have anticipated that the birth of the Saviour would immediately usher in the glorious reign of the Messiah and the promised millennial kingdom, which the entire nation of Israel had been anticipating for many centuries. Other prophecies united to proclaim that the Lord would reign in Jerusalem – the Temple of the Lord was to stand – and all the nations of the earth would stream to it.
It was to be a time of peace and prosperity when God would dwell with His people. The leopard will lie down with the lamb and the lion shall eat straw.. just like the ox. It was to be a time when the people of Israel would build houses and inhabit them – a time when they plant vineyards and eat of the fruit and enjoy the work of their hand. It was to be a time of safety when spears would be fashioned into pruning hooks and nation shall not lift up sword against nation – neither shall they learn war any more. It was to be a time of abundance when the wilderness would become a fruitful field… the desert was to blossom as a rose – the crooked places were to be made straight.
It was to be a time when all the land promised to Abraham would, at last, be rightfully inhabited by Israel – from the river of Egypt to the great river – the river Euphrates. It was to be a time when the Dead Sea would be healed and filled with a multitude of fish and a river of water was to flow out from beneath the Temple of the Lord. And indeed the King was born – and Mary and Zacharias like their fellow countrymen must have anticipated that this miraculous birth would immediately usher in the glorious reign of the Messiah and the promised millennial kingdom, which the entire nation of Israel had been anticipating for many centuries.
For thousands of years, God’s people have anticipated that day when the kingdom of this world will become the kingdom of our God and of His Christ and He shall sit on the throne of David and rule with a rod of iron forever. The prophets of old saw through a glass darkly but they trusted the word of the Lord. Mary and Zacharias did not understand the full implications of the Saviour’s birth but they trusted their God and they believed His word.
We too, like them only see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but the day is fast coming when we will see everything with perfect clarity. Today what we know is partial and incomplete, but the day is coming when we will know everything perfectly and completely – just as God now knows you and me completely. We too see through a glass darkly but the day is coming when the Lord shall be King – and the earth will be filled with the glory of God – as the waters cover the sea.
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