“Many nations will join themselves to the Lord in that day and will become My people. Then I will dwell in your midst, and you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you,” (2:11).
I tried to imagine how these exiles processed returning to a former shadow of what had once been their beloved Jerusalem with its magnificent temple of the Lord. This image came of them cowering in the dark as they scanned the view before their eyes, overcome by despair and hopelessness.
But as the prophet Zechariah delivers God’s message given in his third vision, it is as though this dark and dusty curtain is pulled back to reveal a glorious view of their city brimming with life, freedom, and protection. And to this feeble people, few in number and lacking in strength and resolve, God unveils the glorious future awaiting them in His Promise that He is surely coming. And He is not coming to hover over the earth at a distance as though to survey the land. He is coming to Dwell in the Midst of His People who have joined themselves to Him through faith.
From NIV Study Bible:
Zechariah had all eight visions (1:7—6:8) in one night. vision. Not a dream (see 4:1…) The visions were given to Zechariah while he was fully awake…
1:7-17. The first vision. Although God’s covenant people are troubled while the oppressing nations are at ease, God is jealous (see Ex 20:5) for His people and will restore them and their towns and the temple.
[“14 So the angel who was speaking with me said to me, “Proclaim, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “I am exceedingly jealous for Jerusalem and Zion. 15 But I am very angry with the nations who are at ease; for while I was only a little angry, they furthered the disaster.” 16 Therefore thus says the Lord, “I will return to Jerusalem with compassion; My house will be built in it,” declares the Lord of hosts, “and a measuring line will be stretched over Jerusalem,”’ 1:14-16].
1:18-21. The second vision. The nations that devastated Israel (v. 19) will in turn be destroyed by other nations.
[ I said, “What are these coming to do?” And he said, “These are the horns which have scattered Judah so that no man lifts up his head; but these craftsmen have come to terrify them, to throw down the horns of the nations who have lifted up their horns against the land of Judah in order to scatter it,” 1:21].
2:1-13. The third vision. There will be full restoration and blessing for the covenant people, temple and city.
This third vision of Zechariah predicted the truth that there would in fact be Gentiles who would worship the God of the Israelites. Did the people have a hard time believing this? Did their current circumstance cloud over the brilliance of His glory? But as God revealed what was surely coming, He repeated His promise that He is coming to Dwell in the Midst of His People.
“Sing for joy and be glad, O daughter of Zion; for behold I am coming and I will dwell in your midst,” declares the Lord. 11 “Many nations will join themselves to the Lord in that day and will become My people. Then I will dwell in your midst, and you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you,” (2:10-11 emphasis added).
And we know, when God repeats Himself we are to pay close attention, for the matter has been determined by Him, and He will quickly bring it about.
Now as for the repeating of the dream to Pharaoh twice, it means that the matter is determined by God, and God will quickly bring it about, (Genesis 41:32).
God has determined He will restore the Holy Land and bring salvation to the Jews. But the absolute fulfillment of this prophecy to Dwell in the Midst of His People goes beyond the immediate realm of the returning exiles to Jerusalem and the need to rebuild and ready the temple for His Presence. Through Zechariah, God was reminding His people that He remembers His covenant; a covenant He instituted with Abraham; a covenant that was always intended to reach and bless all the nations of the earth.
“And I will bless those who bless you,
And the one who curses you I will curse.
And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed,” (Genesis 12:3).
This prophecy of His blessing was partially fulfilled in Jesus Christ, when the Word became flesh and made His Dwelling in the Midst of His People.
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth, (John 1:14).
And His prophecy will come to complete fruition in His new heaven and new earth when Jesus Christ Will Dwell Among His People in the holy city, the new Jerusalem.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, 4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away,” (Revelation 21:3-4).
And it is in this place, without tears or grief, without suffering or death, prepared not by the hands of men, but by God Himself, that He Will Dwell in the Midst of His People.
Consider Him Who Will Dwell in the Midst of His People
- He Will Dwell in the Midst of His People in the place surrounded by His Protection and Glory.
- and said to him, “Run, speak to that young man, saying, ‘Jerusalem will be inhabited without walls because of the multitude of men and cattle within it. 5 For I,’ declares the Lord, ‘will be a wall of fire around her, and I will be the glory in her midst,’” (2:4-5).
- He Will Dwell in the Midst of His People in the place filled with His Joy and Gladness.
- “Sing for joy and be glad, O daughter of Zion; for behold I am coming and I will dwell in your midst,” declares the Lord, (2:10).
- He Will Dwell in the Midst of His People in the place where every tribe, tongue and nation will be joined to Him.
- “Many nations will join themselves to the Lord in that day and will become My people. Then I will dwell in your midst, and you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you,” (2:11).
- He Will Dwell in the Midst of His People in the place He possesses and chooses as His portion.
- The Lord will possess Judah as His portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem, (2:12).
How do we respond to Him Who Will Dwell in the Midst of His People?
Oh, what we have to look forward to! For God remembers His covenant; and we can rest secure that He will surely fulfill His Word and Dwell in the Midst of His People.
But self-examination should always be welcomed. Can we say with certainty that we are counted as one of His People? Do we have the absolute assurance that our future is protected in Christ? Can we declare that we know the joy of His salvation and that we have been gathered amongst the nations into a covenant relationship with Holy God through the blood of Christ?
If you have any doubts at all, please pray today. Surrender in faith to Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins, and He will grant you His salvation and the assurance that you forever belong to God through Christ.
and you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God, (1 Corinthians 3:23).
And when we belong to Christ, let us pray the prayer of the apostle Paul, asking the Father to strengthen us through His Spirit, that Christ would Dwell in our hearts through faith, that we would be grounded and rooted in the certainty of His immeasurable love.
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God, (Ephesians 3:17-19).
Oh, let us trust that as He Dwells in our heart through faith, He will fill us to overflowing so that wherever He leads, others would see Christ in us and desire to know why we are different. And when they ask, let us be ready to share the hope we have in Him Who Will Dwell in the Midst of His People.
but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; (1 Peter 3:15).