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You've Got a Reason to Shout

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You’ve Got A Reason to Shout

Responsive Reading – Psalm 97

Hymn – 407 – Lead On, O King Eternal

Text:    Zechariah 9.9 – 17 ~ “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: He is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.”

 

Introduction: The last few weeks I have thought about the condition of men. When I say the condition of man, I am speaking primarily of his condition of happiness. Many conditions may make men happy. The problem is the conditions of men’s lives are conditional. Eventually and inevitably, the conditions are removed and that leaves men in a state of unhappiness. The problem is that there is something missing – a foundation on which men can stand in happiness regardless of the conditions. However, men do not believe that such a foundation exists because of the propaganda is so overwhelmingly against the reality of its existence.

Let me take you back to where the foundation was destroyed. Genesis 3

However, for the believer, the foundation has been restored and he has a reason to be happy no matter what the conditions.

I want to speak to you under the topic, You’ve Got a Reason to Shout! The Reason is your King Cometh and because He does, there are 2 Reasons for you and I to rejoice. The first reason is the coming of the King. The second reason to rejoice is the establishment of His Kingdom.

To begin, I want to ask you some questions. Why is there joy in the coming of a King? What difference does this make? Don’t we already have rulers? How does He differ from the rulers we already have?

I.     A King Like All the Nations

1 Samuel 8 – “This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you…”

 

  1. There were three prominent human offices among the people of God in the Bible: Priests, Prophets and Kings. Of the three, only the first two were of Divine appointment. In Zechariah 6, you recall that Joshua, the High Priest, was crowned King. Why the Priest and not the king? Because Joshua represented Christ coming and reclaiming what was His, the Monarchy. How did the office of the King come about if there was not a divine appointment?
  2. Before we consider our text in Zechariah, lets go back 500 to 600 years prior to this prophecy to an epic event, an event that sparked an inevitable downward  spiral for the Hebrew nation.

1 Samuel 8 – “Make us a king There was a perceived cause of the demand for a king – Samuel is old.

C.    An important statement in this passage is God’s poignant warning to Israel about the King they wanted. “Show them the behavior (or manner) of the king who will reign over them.” The Hebrew word for behavior is mishpat. It is a judicial term indicating a verdict or judgment, primarily a “Divine Judgment.” Literally, we could say, “The judgment of this king will be this.” In other words, this king will act as all the other kings, as a god, as if he has the right to lord over you:

1.       He will take your sons to go to war and they will die for him.

2.       He will take your daughters as servants.

3.       He will take of your profits and of your best possessions and become wealthy.

But, notice the operative words here: He will take…for his own.” This will be the behavior of the King you are clamoring for. Why would they want such a king? Well, it appears practical and needful in the situation. This is an important spiritual principle. “Like all the nations,” helps us understand the principle. It will appear that the help you need can be provided by the world, by the intellectuals, by the psychiatrist, by the government, by the educators – but, true help can only come from the Lord. Amazingly, men will give up true liberty for slavery. They will base their lives and their eternity on a lie, rather than on the truth.

D.    There is a dirty little secret to this madness. The truth behind the demand for a king is not that they need an answer to this situation. The truth of the matter is they did not want God to reign over them. So they rejected God’s Theocracy. This demand, “Make us a king,” is nothing new. This is demand every man has made to himself and it began in the garden when Adam and Eve believed the Devil’s lie: “Did God really say this? You will not die. You will be like God, knowing good and evil.” This is a fatal flaw, because it removes God. And when you remove God you remove the law of God. Each man lives as his own god, defining good and evil for himself. We have this throughout the book of Judges – “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”

There must be a King to reign over men. The problem is having depraved men reigning over men is sure to end disastrous. It matters not what system of government. It can be dictatorship, communism, socialism or democracy. The king or the ruling party will behave this way. Man has attempted every system and all have failed miserably and intuitively, he knows he has no answer!

But the Prophet Zechariah comes on the scene and proclaims – Rejoice! And this is no small thing to Rejoice about.

II.      The Coming of the King

“Behold, thy King cometh unto thee.”

A.    Notice, this is not an offer but an Announcement of the Coming of Christ Jesus. Zechariah is not marketing anything or promoting anything. There is not fixing to be an election and a parade of a bunch of empty promises. The nature of this thing is that it is a proclamation – “Behold, thy King cometh unto thee.” Now that is a relief, a comfort and something to get excited about!

B.    Notice also, this King comes to us! This is always the way. It is God comes to men because men are lost, in darkness, groping around in the midst of lies and deceit. How could man ever find his way unless God came to him?

  1. The marvelous reality to His coming is that He is ours when He comes. “Thy King cometh…” The Divine work of redemption appeases the wrath of God; alleviates the condemnation of sin; reconciles men to Himself and rectifies the loss of all things. The purpose of His coming is for us – The King cometh!
  2. Notice, the Prophet begins the proclamation with “Rejoice” and not simply rejoice, but “Rejoice Greatly!” This is no small thought! The presence of the King is something to greatly rejoice about. When I think about the joy of the saints, especially in the worship service, I always think of that verse of the hymn – “Let those who refuse to sing who never knew our God!” The conclusion was that if there is not great rejoicing, they don’t know God, for if they knew our God, they would greatly rejoice!
  3. Our chief source of rejoicing is the presence of our King – in our midst! The Lord repeatedly encourages us in the book of Zechariah with this theme. It is the prominent theme of the Gospel – God, our Eternal King is with us!
  4. There is something else here that gives us great cause to rejoice and it proceeds from our Kings character.

After announcing the King’s Coming, the prophet describes the King’s character, which gives us the first reason to rejoice: 1) He is righteous and therefore saving and 2) He is humble and therefore peaceful.

1.       2 Samuel 23.3-4 He must be just. Can you imagine a kingdom with a ruling group of men who actually practiced True justice and righteousness? Immorality, injustice and inequity are the ruling measures of the Kingdoms of Men. The weak are plundered and take advantage of. The wolf devours the lamb. Anyone reading this would not believe this. How can there ever be True Justice? They have to rule in the fear of God. But now there is a Quandary – They got rid of the Foundation. They got rid of God. The Kingdom of Christ is one of Justice, for He is just. His justice, equity and mercy are evident to all. Self-giving is the manner of operation of all. “The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox (and not tear the flesh of its victim.) They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain.” Because He is just and righteous, He saves.

 

Illustration: There was an old saint who lay dying. She told her pastor, “I am resting on the Justice of God.” Of course this puzzled the Pastor. It seems quite a strange point of the Divine Character to rest on, but she explained, “I rest in His justice to my great Substitute, that He would not let Him die for me in vain.”

Think of those wonderful verses, “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus…” Romans 3.23-26

 

2.       Isaiah 53.2-3, 7 The second characteristic of this King is that He is lowly and therefore peaceful. Matthew 21.2-5. He came and emptied Himself giving up of His great station to become His subjects’ servant. Jesus girds Himself with a towel and washes the dirty feet of His disciples. He came giving of His own life to suffer and die, that we might live. He was rich and became poor that we might become rich. 2 Corinthians 8.9 “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for our sakes He became poor, that your through His poverty might become rich.” There is a foundation of Peace found in the lowliness of the King.

The Second reason to rejoice is in his Kingdom. In stark contrast to the kingdom of Alexander the Great, whose kingdom was founded on bloodshed, this King establishes His kingdom on Peace.

               

1.     There is not a partial disarmament established kingdom wide, but a complete destruction of all weapons of war and the changing of the hateful hearts of men. “He shall speak peace unto the heathen.” Notice, He is not teaching peace, commanding peace or speaking peacefully, but it happens in such a manner that it removes the hatred and the animosity of men to men, because the walls of separation have been destroyed. There is no separation between God and men because His wrath has been appeased and a way made to the Mercy Seat.

2.     The point of peace is further expanded when you consider the extent of the Kingdom. “From sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.” The implication is that entirety is His. There is no bordering boundary with another Kingdom. This is the only Kingdom.

Conclusion:     You and I have every reason in the world to rejoice. It matters not if the conditions change, for Our King, Our God cometh and He reigns! In fact, You’ve got a reason to Shout! Don’t you?

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