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Zechariah 2:8-9

The Apple of His Eye

8 For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye. 9 For, behold, I will shake mine hand upon them, and they shall be a spoil to their servants: and ye shall know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me.

How can you encourage anyone to leave their comfort zone and move into a place of uncertainty and danger? I guess the answer to that would have to depend on the incentives offered to them. Most people would weigh the costs and risks against the benefits of the move. What were the benefits offered to the Jews to leave prosperous Babylon and return to a devastated Jerusalem?

In verses 6 and 7, they were not told to simply leave. They were told to flee and to rescue themselves from the wrath to come. Would this be enough to make one leave? It would be if you trusted the one who delivered the warning. The person would need to have a strong faith, for there was no evidence that anything terrible was about to happen. But, "...we walk by faith, not by sight." (2Corinthians 5:7)

Now, in verse 8, there is another promise made that also required the hearer to have faith. This verse, however, has presented a problem for many scholars. "For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath He sent me..." Who is the messenger and who sent him? If God is the speaker, it would be strange for Him to be sent by someone. The LORD, or Yahweh, of hosts has to be Jesus Christ who is then sent by the Father.

He says, "After the glory hath He sent Me." It is not clear exactly what this means. Does it mean that He was being sent after Judah had been spoiled by the nations and her glory was gone? It could also mean that the glory of the nations who had harmed Judah was coming to an end and Christ was being sent afterward. Richard D. Phillips in the Reformed Expository Commentary prefers the view presented by H. C. Leupold and Thomas McComiskey that "after" should be rendered "in pursuit of." I also like this, because it fits the context and seems to make the most sense.

The LORD of hosts, Jesus Christ is sent to the enemy nations in pursuit of God's glory. He was going to avenge the wrongs that were done to Judah. By harming God's people, they had also damaged His reputation, changed the way that He was worshiped, and caused the heathen to mock Him. The Son would now come in pursuit of His glory and, by destroying the heathen nations, He would restore it.

He would also come in response to the Father's love for the nation of Judah, which is reflected in the statement, "for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of His eye." Adam Clarke wrote in his commentary, "This is a remarkable expression. Any person, by looking into the eye of another, will see his own image perfectly expressed, though in extreme miniature, in the pupil... And does not the expression mean that the eye of God is ever on his follower, and that his person is ever impressed on the eye, the notice, attention, providence, and mercy of God?"

The eye is perhaps the most sensitive part of the body. Who would want anyone to touch his eyeball? Even a light and gentle touch will cause the tears to flow and could damage the eye. Similarly, when anyone touches God's people, they have touched a very sensitive spot. His love for them causes Him to be as protective of them as anyone would be of their own eyes.

And how would God reclaim His glory from the heathen nations? Christ will simply wave His hand at the nations and they will fall. Their power will be lost, and every nation that they had conquered and beaten into submission would now do the same to them. They would be the spoil of their own servants and everyone would know that He is God.

Yes, God's people are the apple of His eye. We were created in His own image, and every day we are conformed to be a little more like Him. Those who harm us will suffer for their sins. "What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31)

Before the Throne:

Where is your comfort zone? Maybe it is time to come out of it and do the will of the LORD. If you do not know His will for your life and ministry, begin praying about it today. Every Christian is called to serve the LORD in some kind of ministry. "Ye have not, because ye ask not." Confess your sins, purify yourself, ask God to reveal His will to you, and then go. God's work is not done from the comfort of a church pew. Go wherever He sends you, knowing that you are the apple of His eye. You have His protection and divine authority to spread the gospel.

For Further Study:

(v.8 )
** After. Zech 1:15, 16; Isa 60:7-14; ** sent. Isa 48:15, 16; Mal 3:1; John 14:23, 24, 26; John 15:21-23; John 17:18; 1John 4:9, 10, 14; ** the nations. 2Kgs 24:2; Jer 50:17-18; 51:34-35; Ezek 25:6-7, 12, 15; 26:2; 35:5; ** Joel 3:2-8; Amos 1:3-5, 9, 11, 13; Obad 1:10-16; Mic 4:11; 5:6; 7:10; Hab 2:8, 17; Zeph 2:8; ** for. Gen 20:6; Psa 105:13-15; Acts 9:4; 2Thess 1:6; ** the apple. Deut 32:10; Psa 17:8; Matt 25:40, 45;

(v.9) ** I will. Isa 10:32; 11:15; 13:2; 19:16; ** and they. Isa 14:2; 33:1, 23; Jer 27:7; Ezek 39:10; Hab 2:8, 17; Zeph 2:9; ** and ye. Zech 4:9; 6:15; Jer 28:9; John 13:19; 16:4;


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