Charles Simeon Commentary - Zechariah 14:9 - 14:9

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Charles Simeon Commentary - Zechariah 14:9 - 14:9


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CHRIST’S REIGN ON EARTH

Zec_14:9. The Lord shall be King over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one.

UNDER the Jewish dispensation, the saints looked forward to the first coming of our Lord; at the prospect of which, though at the distance of two thousand years, Abraham exulted, and leaped for joy. Under the Christian dispensation, we look forward to his second advent: when he shall take to him his great power, and reign over the face of the whole earth. The near approach of this great event should make us more intent upon it, and fill us with delightful anticipations of the blessings which will then be diffused throughout all the world. The words which we have just read will furnish us with an occasion to consider,

I.       The incalculable importance of this prophecy—

It is of importance,

1.       To the world at large—

[At present, our blessed Saviour reigns over a very small part of the globe. By far the greater part of mankind are sunk in the grossest idolatry — — — But there is a time coming, when every Dagon in the universe shall fall before the ark, and Christ shall be King over all the earth. In every place under heaven shall men “cast their idols to the moles and to the bats,” and Christ be made the one object of supreme and universal regard.

The delusions of Mahometanism shall also then be banished; the worshippers of that false prophet shall be undeceived; and Christ be acknowledged as that Prophet of whom Moses spoke, as ordained of God to be supremely and exclusively the Teacher of the world.

God’s ancient people, too, shall then be brought to “look on Him whom they pierced, and mourn; and be in bitterness, as one that mourneth for his only son.” To him shall they submit, as King in Zion; and thus all, both Jews and Gentiles, shall become “one fold under one Shepherd.”

To all these things the Scriptures bear witness, in so plain and abundant a measure, that we must doubt altogether the inspiration of the sacred volume, if we can doubt that these things shall be fulfilled in their season [Note: Psa_2:6; Psa_2:8; Psa_22:27-28; Psa_72:8; Psa_72:11; Dan_2:44-45.] — — —]

2.       To the Church in particular—

[Even in the Christian world there is almost as little subjection to one Head as in the world at large. Both in the Roman Church and the Greek Church, superstition prevails to such a degree, as in a great measure to supersede the work and offices of Christ. And even among Protestants, the divisions which exist tend greatly to embitter their minds against each other, and to prevent that union which ought to subsist amongst the members of Christ’s mystical body. As, of old, the tribes of Judah and of Ephraim were in a state of most inveterate hostility against each other, even so it is now. But as, in reference to them, we are told that the two sticks in the prophet’s hand became one, as shadowing forth their future union [Note: Eze_37:16-22.], “(Ephraim no longer envying Judah, nor Judah vexing Ephraim [Note: Isa_11:13.],” but both living together in harmony and love,) so we may assuredly expect, that, at the season predicted in my text, all will become, as at the day of Pentecost, “of one heart and one mind;” all, as it were, “being like-minded one towards another, according to Christ Jesus; and all, with one mind and one mouth, glorifying God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ [Note: Rom_15:5-6.].”]

3.       To every individual of mankind—

[Who amongst us has not reason to confess, that “other lords besides Jehovah have had dominion over us?” But at that time we shall all say, “By thee, and the influence of thy grace, will we henceforth make mention of thy name, even of thine only [Note: Isa_26:13.].” An entire subjection of the soul to Christ is a very rare attainment. But in that day there shall be none to “say, Lord, Lord, without doing the things which he commands.” Hypocrisy will then be banished from the world; and all who are called Israel, will be “Israelites indeed [Note: Joh_1:47.].” “All will be righteous in that day [Note: Isa_60:21.].” Every vessel in the Lord’s house, from the greatest to the least, will be holiness to the Lord: nor shall there any more be the Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts [Note: ver. 20, 21.].”]

Is this the true import of the prophecy? How great then must be,

II.      The blessedness of the period to which it refers—

Surely it will be a season of great temporal prosperity

[There will then exist few, if any, of those calamities which now overrun the world. Do wars now rage, and desolate the earth? They shall then cease: “the swords shall be beat into plow-shares, and the spears into pruning-hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more [Note: Mic_4:3.].” Do unfruitful seasons reduce men to great distress? There shall then be such fertility in the earth, that “every man shall sit under his own vine and figtree [Note: Mic_4:4.],” in the undisturbed possession both of peace and plenty. Do injustice and oppression prevail? Universal righteousness will then obtain; and neither fraud nor violence be suffered upon earth [Note: Isa_11:6-9; Isa_60:17-18.]. Do diseases bring men to an untimely end? To such a degree shall the constitutions of men be strengthened, that a person at the age of a hundred years shall be accounted only a child; and if he die at that early age, he shall be judged as cut off prematurely by a judicial act of God’s displeasure. In truth, the whole system of things will appear like “a new creation;” “a new heaven, and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness [Note: Isa_65:17-20 and 2Pe_3:13.].”]

Then, also, shall spiritual blessings most richly abound—

[Men’s knowledge of the Gospel shall then far exceed any thing that is possessed at this day: “The light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the Lord bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound [Note: Isa_30:26.].” At present, our views of Christ are obscure: we see him only as a shadow, or, at the best, only “as in a glass darkly:” but then “we shall see him eye to eye,” and, as it were, face to face [Note: Isa_52:8.]. The grace also that shall accompany this knowledge will be proportionably enlarged. Exceeding beautiful is the description which the Prophet Joel gives us of the state of things in that day: “It shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters; and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the Lord, and shall water the valley of Shittim [Note: Joe_3:18.],” a place proverbially dry and barren. In fact, so universal and abundant will be the prevalence of real piety, that it will seem as if all the saints that have ever died had risen again, and Christ himself were dwelling and reigning in the midst of them [Note: Rev_20:6; Rev_21:2-4.].]

Above all, it will be a season when God will manifest himself on earth, almost as he does in heaven itself—

[Some think that Christ will personally reign on earth, during the whole Millennium. But, without acceding to that opinion, I think it clear that he will manifest himself on some special occasions, as once he did upon Mount Tabor in his transfiguration: and so bright will be his glory, that the moon shall be confounded and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously [Note: Isa_24:23.].” In fact, the city in which we shall dwell will have no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it: for the glory of God will lighten it, and the Lamb will be the light thereof [Note: See Rev_21:22-26.].” See the exultations of the saints in that day, as expressed in the prophetic writings [Note: Psa_98:1-9 and Isa_12:3-6.] — — — See them, also, as declared in the book of Revelation, where they refer expressly to the period when “the saints shall reign on the earth [Note: Rev_5:9-10.]:” and, methinks, you will say that that season will be to every living man an earnest and a foretaste of heaven itself.]

Let me then entreat you, Brethren,

1.       To seek the establishment of Christ’s kingdom in your own souls—

[If He is to reign over all at the period referred to, should not his kingdom be established in our hearts? O, let him not find a rival there! Let every thing that exalts itself against him be cast down; and every thought and desire of your hearts be brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.]

2.       To promote its establishment throughout the world [Note: Here may be an exhortation, suited to the occasion, and to the particular circumstances of the case at that time.]—