An Eternal King Promised: Bible Survey for New Christians

March 12th, 2009

Jeremiah 23:1–6; Isaiah 9:6–7; Zechariah 9:9–10

Summary:
He prophesies a restoration of the scattered flock.
What joy shall be in the midst of afflictions, by the birth and kingdom of Christ
Zion is exhorted to rejoice for the coming of Christ, and his peaceable kingdom.

 

 23:1.  "Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!'' says the Lord.
 23:2.  Therefore thus says the Lord God of Israel against the shepherds who feed My people: "You have scattered My flock, driven them away, and not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for the evil of your doings,'' says the Lord.
 23:3.  "But I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all countries where I have driven them, and bring them back to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.
 23:4.  "I will set up shepherds over them who will feed them; and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, nor shall they be lacking,'' says the Lord.
 23:5.  "Behold, the days are coming,'' says the Lord, "That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; a King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.
 23:6.  In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell safely; now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

 9:6.  For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
 9:7.  Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

 9:9.  "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.
 9:10.  I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the horse from Jerusalem; the battle bow shall be cut off. He shall speak peace to the nations; His dominion shall be `from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.'

Comments:

A shepherd is one who takes care of sheep. A shepherd who scatters and drives off sheep is no shepherd at all. The shepherds being talked about are the leaders of God's people, kings and priests, civic and spiritual leaders. When our political leaders lead the people astray, there is a hefty responsibility on them to bear under God's judgement. The very same burden is waiting for church or denominational leaders, should they change the meaning of God's word and lead people astray. A time is coming when God himself will hold them accountable. Visiting on them the same mistreatment that they did to his flock.

God will gather the remnant, those remaining ones who still believe in spite of what was done to them. He gathers them from the places that *he* has driven them. He has driven them to places of natural shelter to wait out the storm. Safe from the abuse of the so called leaders.

Side note: Have you ever heard of the term "roundup"? Do you know what it means, or where it comes from? The cowboys of America's cattle country go out every year and roundup stray cattle. Why do they do this? The animals are left to range free. They find their own shelter and land to graze on. Cows find terrain with underbrush and swamps for protection. They raise their young calves and keep to themselves, away from as much harm as possible. Cowboys go out to beat the bushes, so to speak, and roundup the strays. They take the cows from the protection that they have found and round them up so the calves can be branded. An act that puts the owners mark on them, claiming them for his own.

God's remnant is similar to the roundup. As believers in the present age, we sometimes have to find our own shelter where we can find it. Shelter that God provides, leads us to, and keeps us for his purposes. Doing our bes, with his gracet to preserve life, and pass that life down to our children. There will come a time, when we won't have to hunker down and fend for ourselves. The owner will draw us out and claim his ownership. Only better, because we won't end up as steaks, but rather take part in his promised kingdom. Back to the scriptures...

When will this time be? Given when the prophecy was written, it could mean the time of Christ, or it could go beyond that, and refer to the end times, and when Jesus returns to set up his kingdom forever.

God himself will raise up the shepherds who will truly feed his sheep. He talks of the good shepherd, the Messiah, who was to come. He tells of the lineage of that Messiah, through the branch of David. It would be the time when the reign of Christ would begin.

When the Christ would come, it would be his introduction to the world,  and to pay for the sins of people once for all time. The government, and all the burdens and benefits of it would rest upon him. Some people believe that Jesus is separate from God. That he was just a man who was an insightful teacher. A created being and not really God. But in his name we are told it is a Wonderful name. It is a name where we can seek counsil and advice. It is God's mighty name, it is the Father's name. It is the everlasting name. Now there's a concept to dwell on. Jesus, the son of God is also Mighty God and the Father as well. How can it be? I don't think anybody can explain it in human terms, but that's what it says.

That's also what the words in John 1:1 try to express as well. (Check back in a couple days for more from John 1). Can we know God? If he were a person, what would he look like? What would he say? What would he act like? In Jesus we have exactly that. Everything that God is, the man, Jesus, was, and still is. The New testament tells us that Jesus will return to put sin in its place, and establish his kingdom.

Once his kingdom begins, there will be no end. When we are saved, or redeemed, or rescued into it, it we are being called now, to a purpose that will be revealed once his time comes.

Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey on what would become called Palm Sunday. The donkey was a symbol of peace. Zechariah 9:9 is speaking of the Messiah of the Jews, which is also Jesus. There is another bit of symbolism, the donkey was also a colt of a donkey. One that hadn't been ridden before. When Jesus came in peace, on a donkey, it was a type of kingship that had not been seen before.

By the time Jesus fulfilled this prophecy, he had been preaching for a few years, training his disciples and performing wonderful signs. His kingdom starts off with his death to pay for all our sins. He is our king, but he isn't in the world right now. One day he will return. He will be that good shepherd who gathers together the small remnant of believers. That group will recieve their inheritance and place that they were saved and set apart to do. The bad shepherds, government and church leaders who have been doing harm instead of good, will get what they deserve.

The chariot, the horse, and the battle bow will be cut off. They will cease to exist. We still do have war in these days, but once Christ returns to establish his remnant, there won't be any war anymore. Strive to be part of that remnant.

Up to this point in this study, we have looked into the sin of man, the laws of God for us to live by. We have learned a little about some of the triumphs of men, as they lived in accordance with God's law, but more often the downslide of men and their leaders. God hasn't given up on us. In today's passage we are told of a promised, chosen one. In the rest of our study, throughout the rest of this month, we will discover more about the arrival of that chosen one, his kingdom, the payment and forgiveness of our sins. Plus much more. about the hope we can enjoy now, as well as the inheritance we will enjoy in his kingdom that awaits.

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