First Reading: Zechariah 9:9-10
Praise to God's Chosen
When was the last time you felt life was precarious? When have you questioned your faith in God or in others?
9 Rejoice greatly, daughter of Zion!
Shout, daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your King comes to you!
He is righteous, and having salvation;
lowly, and riding on a donkey,
even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
10 I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim,
and the horse from Jerusalem;
and the battle bow will be cut off;
and he will speak peace to the nations:
and his dominion will be from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
World English Bible
After the Babylonian exile, Jews returned to rebuild Jerusalem. In the following years, the inhabitants enjoyed some level of autonomy. But Judah remained a province of Persia to the distant east and a buffer zone with Egypt to the south. So far from the center of power, yet so close to the enemy, Judah was in precarious position.
Indeed, the inhabitants began to question their identity and faith. Was the God of a defeated nation a false god? Wasn't loyalty to such a deity hard to defend? Was it worth the cost to remain Jewish? Out of these questions came an new answer, the promise of a Messiah, a son of David. Through the promised One, God would be vindicated. And the glory of the nation would be restored. The hymn in Zechariah 9:9-10 represented the vision of the Messiah. Like many other prophecies, the Lord declared the event as if it were occurring as he spoke. The king would triumphantly enter the city to rule a vast empire in peace.
Like the Jews in the time of the prophecy, we might be tempted to wallow in a funk that drains our faith. The world is too dangerous. Our lives are chaotic and precarious. This is the time to focus on God. He will save us, despite our troubles. This is the promise Zechariah presented to the people. And the promise God gives to us now.
How has God helped you through the doubtful times?