Daily D – Zechariah 9:9-10
Zechariah 9:9-10 Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the warhorses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth. (NIV)
When tyrants invade, there is terror and threat to the whole world. When Jesus invades, there is peace, and everything is made right.
Vladimir Putin is playing an increasingly dangerous game. His threats overnight will fill the headlines on newspaper websites and the mouths of the talking head commentators on news stations.
Putin says all possible responses are on the table, including nuclear weapons. To gain and wield power, he will use the threat, and the implementation, of increasing measures of force. This, he reasons, is how to prove how tough you are. This, he should notice, has led to sold-out international air travel from Russia to anywhere.
“Compare and contrast,” my English teacher said. “What is alike, and what is different?” Or, in the catchy tune from Sesame Street, “One of these things is not like the other. One of these things just doesn’t belong.”
If you prefer politicians who will fight for you, there are plenty to go around. If you want an absolute autocrat, several are vying for the job. If you want peace, love, and righteousness, there is only one ruler who gives life, amplifies life, and preserves life forever. He is Jesus. There is nobody like him.
Compare and contrast Putin and those like him with Jesus.
* Tyrants are arrogant; Jesus is humble.
* Tyrants are feared; Jesus is joyfully worshiped.
* Tyrants implement weapons of mass destruction; Jesus proclaims peace to all people everywhere.
* Tyrants want to rule the whole wide world; Jesus rules the whole wide world now and forever.
Putin and his ilk are but speed bumps on the way to a better world. They will go down in history like the evil men we all know from history. Jesus is extending his kingdom of peace, love, and righteousness in the hearts and minds of men, women, and children. Every knee will bow, every tongue will confess that “Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father,” (Philippians 2:10).
We can read the headlines and listen to the news with fear and trembling. Or, we can read the Bible with hope and hallelujahs and prepare for peace, love, and righteousness that endures forever and ever amen. Pray for peace. Prepare to meet your peaceful Savior.
I will pray for and prepare for peace that endures forever.
Our Father, may the words of Isaiah become increasingly true in our world now: “Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing it and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this,” (Isaiah 9:7). Bring your peace to bear on the tumult of our times. Amen.
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Deuteronomy 8:12-18 When you eat and are full, and build beautiful houses to live in, and your herds and flocks grow large, and your silver and gold multiply, and everything else you have increases, be careful that your heart doesn’t become proud and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. He led you through the great and terrible wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, a thirsty land where there was no water. He brought water out of the flint rock for you. He fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your ancestors had not known, in order to humble and test you, so that in the end he might cause you to prosper. You may say to yourself, ‘My power and my own ability have gained this wealth for me,’ but remember that the Lord your God gives you the power to gain wealth, in order to confirm his covenant he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates.“
Deuteronomy 1:2, 3 It is an eleven-day journey from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea by way of Mount Seir. In the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first of the month, Moses told the Israelites everything the Lord had commanded him to say to them.