Up! Up! Flee from the land of the north, declares the Lord. For I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heavens, declares the Lord. Up! Escape to Zion, you who dwell with the daughter of Babylon. For thus said the Lord of hosts, after his glory sent me to the nations who plundered you, for he who touches you touches the apple of his eye: “Behold, I will shake my hand over them, and they shall become plunder for those who served them. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me. Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for behold, I come and I will dwell in your midst, declares the Lord. And many nations shall join themselves to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people. And I will dwell in your midst, and you shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. (Zechariah 2:6-11 ESV)
The time of exile is ending and God’s people are called back to Jerusalem. As they go, they are to plunder the nations much like they did during the exodus from Egypt. Not only so, but many from these other nations will join them. Of all the typology of the Old Testament, the return from exile and rebuilding of the temple has been the most difficult for me to fully wrap myself around. Perhaps because it comes from the minor prophets who are so much less known and preached. This year reading them has been a different story as I have read them with the opening of first Peter in mind. The return from exile points us forward in many ways to see our current age – an age defined by the Great Commission. In fact, the Great Commission is perhaps the call to “plunder” the nations as we tell the good news of Jesus. Our return from exile will not be alone but with people from every nation. Enemies will be made into family as they join the ranks of Israel, I.e., Christ’s Church.
May God help us to see our role as returnees from exile as we plunder people via the Great Commission!