The Glory In Our Midst
By Bobby Blakey on July 16, 2023
The Glory In Our Midst
By Bobby Blakey on July 16, 2023
I invite you to open your Bible and turn with me to the book of Zechariah. Zechariah Chapter 2 will be our text here together today. Zechariah is often referred to as one of the Minor Prophets. But that's not how they used to say it. Back amongst the Hebrews, amongst the Jews, it was one of the twelve. They had a book of the Twelve. And Zechariah is number eleven out of those twelve. And Zechariah is one of the people who came back from Babylon after the seventy years of exile, and he came back to Jerusalem. And he was contemporaries with a guy named Haggai, who you might see right there to the left of Zechariah. And God spoke through these prophets in a powerful way. And the people of Israel actually listened to these prophets, and they began to rebuild the temple. Now, we've already studied Zechariah 1. And if you missed those studies, I want to really recommend: There's a handout in your bulletin if you want to pull it out. And I want to recommend there's a QR code on the back of the handout that'll take you to those sermons from Zechariah 1. If you've never really studied this book, it is awesome. And you want to know what's going on in Zechariah? And so go check out those first two studies, if you missed them. And I'm going to guess that there's some people here who have never heard a sermon from Zechariah 2 before in your life. Anybody like yeah, I've never studied Zechariah 2, I can't even find this book. Yeah, I don't know about it. Well, up until this week, I never preached from Zechariah 2 either, but this is going to be an awesome text. This is the third of the night visions of Zechariah. So, they start rebuilding the temple, and then exactly to the day, five months later, in the night Zechariah start seeing all of these different visions that God gives him. And we already saw two of the visions in chapter 1. And now chapter 2 is the third of these night visions. Let me read it for you. And then we're going to go through it detail by detail. So, this is Zechariah chapter 2. And out of respect for God's word, I am going to ask again, if we would all stand up for the public reading of Scripture, maybe a scripture you don't even know that well, maybe you've never read it before, or it's been a long time since you did read it. Let's give this our full and undivided attention. And God gave this vision to Zechariah, not just for the people in his day, but for us here together, today. This is Zechariah chapter 2 starting in verse 1.
And I lifted my eyes and saw, and behold, a man with a measuring line in his hand! Then I said, “Where are you going?” And he said to me, “To measure Jerusalem, to see what is its width and what is its length.” And behold, the angel who talked with me came forward, and another angel came forward to meet him and said to him, “Run, say to that young man, ‘Jerusalem shall be inhabited as villages without walls, because of the multitude of people and livestock in it. And I will be to her a wall of fire all around, declares the Lord, and I will be the glory in her midst.’” 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. And the Lord will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem.” Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord, for he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.
That's the reading of God's word. Please go ahead and have your seat. And so, this vision that Zechariah has begins with seeing a man with a measuring line in his hand, maybe you can remember the first vision, there was a man among the myrtle trees, getting off a horse, where now this guy's got some kind of measuring line, and he's going to take some measurements and Zechariah is like, where are you going? What's he going to measure? He's going to measure Jerusalem. Now if you're following the flow of thought so far, that makes a lot of sense. If you go back into Zechariah 1:3, the promise of the Book of Zechariah. Remember the name Zechariah means the Lord remembers. And the promise is here in verse 3. “Return to me, says, the Lord of hosts, and I will return to you, says, the Lord of hosts.” So, Lord of hosts is kind of the main title given to God. In this book, it's used fifty-three times in the fourteen chapters of Zechariah. Lord of Hosts means the God of angel armies, or the God who commands armies. And so, God's saying, turn to me, repent, come to me, and then I will turn to you. So, it's a promise here; it's actually an invitation to a relationship, you turn to God, God will turn to you. And what's awesome about this book of prophecy is the people actually listen to Zechariah. They hear God speaking through the prophecy, and they do what God says. It says in verse 6, so they repented. Halfway through verse 6, they repented, and they came to the Lord. Now, we saw then that God because they turned to him, God turned back to them, jump ahead to Zechariah 1:16. This is chapter 1, verse 16, “Therefore, thus says the Lord, I have returned to Jerusalem with mercy.”
So, the people there in Jerusalem who came back from the exile, they start to rebuild the temple, but they're not just building the building, they're actually turning to a relationship with God. And so, God says, now I'm coming back to Jerusalem. And the thing that really provoked God to say that in verse 16 was this prayer of the man among the myrtle trees, in verse 12. Look back at chapter one, verse 12, we saw was the angel of the Lord, we saw was actually a pre-incarnate appearance of the Lord Jesus. And he said, oh, Lord of hosts, how long will you have no mercy on Jerusalem? So, the people in Jerusalem turned to God, Jesus cries out on their behalf. And then God says, I'm coming back to Jerusalem. So now in chapter 2, we've got this man who's going to measure Jerusalem. And then there's this angel that's been talking to Zechariah. Well, now, another angel jumps up, and he says, hey, you’ve got to say this to Zechariah. You’ve got to let him know. And look what it says there in verse 3 here of Zechariah chapter 2. While the angel runs up to one angel, and then they say, a verse 4, “Run, say to that young man, Jerusalem shall be inhabited as villages without walls; Jerusalem is going to be a city with no walls. Now, we’ve got to get into the context to understand that because we're a bunch of City Slickers. I don't think I've ever lived in a city with walls. Does everybody understand what I'm saying? Right? Like, we didn't have to lower the drawbridge, so everybody from Westminster could get here in Huntington Beach, right? Well, you didn't need like some kind of passcode to come from Fountain Valley, which is a really nice place to live, over into Huntington Beach here this morning. Who came from Long Beach and Lakewood here this morning? Right? Was there a big wall around Orange County? No, you just humbled yourself and came on down here, you know what I'm saying? So, we don't get this. And a lot of times, when we read things in the scripture that we don't get, we just zoom right over it. Right? Back at this time, when Nehemiah found out that beatdown Jerusalem that Zechariah is living in. And Nehemiah chapter 1, verse 3, when he found out the city had no walls, he started openly weeping. And the whole rest of the book is about him coming back to rebuild the walls, because the city without walls is defenseless, and the enemies are just going to come in and do whatever they want with those people at this time. You’ve got no walls, that's not a good place. You don't want to take your family there.
So, this idea of wanting to be a city without walls is the idea of living in an ideal state. Like we have so many people and we are so well fortified. We don't even need walls. That would be the idea. So, Jerusalem right now, when King Nebuchadnezzar came in with the Babylonians, they destroyed the temple, they tore down all the walls. I mean, Jerusalem was a beaten down, broken down place, and now they're coming back. And for five months, they've been trying to rebuild, it's not looking very good. It's going to take them years just to rebuild the temple. And so, to say that Jerusalem would be a city without walls that's like so different than their current experience. This is like such good news. Like it would be hard for them to even believe this is such good news. What do you mean? So, I did what how it is right now someday we would be a city. And we won't even need walls. And it gives two reasons that they would be like a village without walls because of one, the multitude of people and livestock in it, there's going to be a population explosion. And what that's really saying is Jerusalem is going to be provided for; they're going to have all the food and water they need for many people to live there many animals to live there, like there's going to be tremendous growth because they're going to be provided for. And then look at verse 5, “And I,” the Lord speaking, I “will be to her a wall of fire all around, declares the Lord.” How about that? You guys want to rebuild a wall? No, I'll just be a wall of fire. That sounds like a great protection from evil. That sounds almost like a force field, like some kind of surrounding army. And it really sounds actually like, instead of your little army trying to defend you, my angelic army with their chariots of fire will come and surround you. And then here's the theme of Zechariah, to hear at the end of verse 5, where the Lord says, “and I will be the glory in her midst.”
Not only do we have good days for Jerusalem, not only is he going to provide a population explosion and protect from all the evil that could come against them, but God is moving back into the city of Jerusalem, God's glory is going to be in the midst of his people. This is really the point of this chapter. God is going to dwell in Jerusalem with his people once again. Go down to verse 10. And you'll see it there, again, that people are supposed to sing and rejoice because I come and I will dwell in your midst declares the Lord. In fact, not just for the Jews as this good news, people from other nations are going to join themselves to the Lord in verse 11. And that day, and they will be God's people, and I will dwell in your midst. And you shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. So, God being among, being in the middle of his people, the very glorious holy presence of God actually dwelling in the middle of the city. That's the promise here in Zechariah 2, and the promise here is something that nobody in this room has ever experienced. This is talking about something you have not yet known in your relationship with God; this is not the way we say God's here in our midst. When we talk about God being here in our midst, we're talking about like God's spiritual presence. And we're saying that God is with us as his people, God's put his spirit into me, God's put his spirit into us. So, we all have the Spirit of the Living God, we're all a temple of God. So now the fact that we've gotten all together, God is here among us, we might say, or maybe we might even say, when we were really singing a song like Jesus, thank you. And we're just thanking God for his love for us. And maybe you've had times of worship where you're singing at the top of your lungs, and you're just pouring out your heart and praying to God. And then you say to your friend, wasn't that some awesome worship? It was like God was right there with us. Or maybe sometimes you're hearing a sermon, and you feel like God's really speaking to you. And the word is, it's alive. And you're seeing it for how alive it is. And it's like, wow, I'm really feeling stirred up in my soul. It was like God was right there when his word was being preached. That's how we use this idea of God being in our midst. That's not what this is talking about. This is actually talking about God is going to be in his physical manifestation of his glory, like God is going to be right down the street in Jerusalem. This is a thought that you've never actually really probably had to think through in your life. Oh, you'd have never had this situation. Maybe you've thought about what it would be like to be in this situation. But you've never had God right down the street from you. Like if God was right down the street right now, service is over, we're all going over there. Right? What if I could announce today that hey, God is actually right now in Australia, and we're buying up plane tickets. Who's buying a plane ticket with me, we're going to go meet God in Australia, I don't care if it's the longest flight you can have. Let's go. I want to go where God is. That's what this is talking about. This is talking about the spatial not the spiritual presence of God, the spatial presence of God actually being in the same space as God, you've never done that. You've never even had a place where God was that you could consider going to yourself.
Let's get this down for point number one. We want to consider the spatial presence of God. And you may need to look up at the screen to see how to spell spatial because it's just referring to being in space, the same exact place. Here's a God in all of his holy splendor, in all of his radiant glory, the God who if you saw him, you would fall on your face, like so many people do. In Scripture, if you actually were in the presence of God, it would be overwhelming to you so that you would just hit that duct taped carpet like that's what would happen if you saw a God. That has never happened when we've been worshipping God, or preaching his word, that is something we are yet to experience. In fact, there's only been one group of people. And they've only been in kind of one part of the world where they've even tried to live in the same space as God. And that is the people of Israel. This is unique to God's relationship with the people of Israel.
Go with me to Exodus chapter 25. And here's where God commanded them. I want you to turn to Exodus 25:8, and we want to consider the whole history that they have of trying to be in the same space as God. And once you understand that, when you were there with Moses, and you were one of the Israelites going through the wilderness, that God's glory was actually manifest among you in the midst. And it was right there. It's like a pillar of cloud by day or a pillar of fire by night. And you could point and say, that's where God is. Well, then God says here when he's giving the law of Moses, and he's speaking to the people from Mount Sinai, here's what God says in Exodus 25:8, “And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their,” key word of the day “in their midst.” I want to live right there. I got you guys out of Egypt, I delivered you, I rescued you. So now I want to live right in the middle of you, right there among you. So, make me a tent. And then you guys can all put your tents all around my tent. And here's exactly how I want you to make my tent, everybody. Contribute to my tent. And then in my tent, there's going to be the Holy of Holies. And you're going to build the Ark of the Covenant and put that in there with the two tablets of stone in it. Then there's going to be this big curtain, and then there's going to be the holy place. And there I want this table for the showbread. I want this altar for the incense. And I want this big golden menorah, this big golden candle that'll just light the room up. And I want you guys to build these things exactly like this. And then I want all of these priests and here's what the priests are going to wear. And here's what they're going to do. Because we're trying to figure out how do sinful people like us live right down the street from the holy, glorious God of the universe. That's what they actually tried to accomplish.
And so, sometimes we read through the law, and we're like, I don't understand a lot of this stuff like why are they always doing these sacrifices. The reason they're always doing sacrifices is because you’ve got sinful human beings, trying to go into the presence of the Holy God in all of his splendor and glory. And so, we need to do something to make sure our sin is atoned for, so we can be in a right standing with God. You read these laws like this is clean, and this is unclean, and don't eat this. Or if your body does this, then you're unclean. And you can't go before God until you're clean. Because you can't just take this body that you've got and walk into the holy presence of the living God, you can't just operate like that. So, if you're unclean, you got to get away from God. And then if you're clean, you can go back into God's presence, because they're actually trying to figure out how do human beings exist in the same space as the glory of God right there in their midst.
Now, I just recently went to Israel, some of you know about that. A hundred of us, we went to Israel, and we had some free time on our last day there and I got to spend it in one of my favorite places, the Old City of Jerusalem, I love getting some shawarma in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, some aroma coffee, we're in the bookstore, we're buying ancient Hebrew texts. We're having a great time. You know what, I don't know what you do for fun. But that's my idea right there. And there's this museum there called the Temple Institute. And my wife loves going to this place. We took our son there, we took some of the people on our tour, and we're like full tourists, signing up for the museum. And it is a bunch of Jewish people who already have plans to rebuild the temple. And they tell you all about how the temple was built, all about how it was destroyed. And so, here's what we're going to do. We have all these garments made for the priests; we've got all these musical instruments that they're going to use. This is how we're going to make the bread and this is where we're going to put the bread and this is how we're going to do this and they have actually built I think we got a picture right here. They have built a completely golden menorah. That is two tons of gold you're looking at right there, and they are just waiting for the moment when they can rebuild the temple and put that thing in there. And the verse that they quote is this verse, Exodus 25:8, “Let them make me a sanctuary.” God told us to make a sanctuary, we're going to do it. And if you're a Bible nerd like me, it's fascinating, all the intricate details of how they would rebuild the temple and redo all these things that God says. But here's the heartbreak of it. The whole time you're going through this tour in this museum, not one time do they actually talk about the glory of God being in their midst, it's all temple, no glory.
And see, that's what a lot of people do. A lot of people who go to church, they go to church, their primary goal is not to see the glory of God and to be in God's actual presence. They just want to be a good person. And they like going to church, they think it helps their kids, they think at least some of the people at church are nice people to be around. And so, they like going to church. But see, the goal is not just to be a part of something, some building related to God, the goal is to actually see God's glory and to be in his presence. That has to be your goal. That is what God is promising here in Zechariah 2; that's what he always wanted with the people of Israel. Look over at Exodus 29:45-46, because he's talking about what the priests need to do. And he's talking about the altar and what that needs to be like, but he says it again, in the middle of all of these practical instructions, God says, Exodus 29:45, “I will dwell among the people of Israel, and I will be their God. And they shall know that I am the LORD their God, who brought them out of the land of Egypt, that I might dwell among them. Like you could argue this is the whole theme, not just of Israel, the theme of Scripture. God has always wanted to be God of his people. And God has always wanted to be right there with all of his holy glory, right there in the midst of his people. That's always been God's goal. And here he is trying to set it up with the tabernacle, and then living in tents. And then eventually they're going to get into the promised land. And eventually King Solomon is going to build the actual temple.
Go over to 1 Kings 6. Let's jump ahead to now instead of it being a tent, that can move around here in 1 Kings, chapter 6. Now we're going to build a temple right there in the city of Jerusalem and King Solomon, he gets into this construction project, and they go all out in the building of God's temple. And so look what it says here in 1 Kings 6:11, you can see the heading there, Solomon's building the temple. And here's what the word of the Lord came to Solomon. This is 1 Kings 6:11-13. “Now the word of the Lord came to Solomon, ‘Concerning this house that you are building, if you will walk in my statutes and obey my rules and keep all my commandments and walk in them, then I will establish my word with you, which I spoke to David your father. And I will dwell among the children of Israel and will not forsake my people Israel.’” So, here's God making it very clear, Solomon, this is great. You're building the building. It's not just about a building. The point isn't just to have some kind of structure, some kind of religion, some kind of practices we go through. The point is that God wants to have a relationship with his people. And people can't just roll into the presence of the Holy God. You can't come to God, just in your sin, you have to turn from your sin, you have to confess your sin, there has to be atonement for your sin. And so, you guys need to walk in my ways. You guys need to go through all that I commanded you. You guys need to hear what I'm saying. And you need to do it. And then we can really come together because I want to dwell among you. I want to be the God over you. I want to be right there, my glory in your midst. That's what he's saying to Solomon. Now, unfortunately, the people don't really listen to God. They don't continue to walk in God's ways. They've got the building. They've got the tradition, yes, but they don't really love God. Their goal is not really to see his glory, to worship him, to be with him.
And so go ahead to Ezekiel and look what happens. Even though we've had the tabernacle, even though we've had the temple, Ezekiel chapter 11:22 is a sad vision as he kills one of the prophets during the time of the exile. And this he looks at Jerusalem in a vision and look what he sees those cherubim, those angels that were above the Ark of the Covenant that was there in the Holy of Holies. This is Ezekiel 11:22. “Then the cherubim lifted up their wings, with the wheels beside them, and the glory of the God of Israel was over them.” He's over these angels. And here they are. They're flying up, up and where are they going? And verse 23, “And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city and stood on the mountain that is on the east side of the city.” Here's Ezekiel saying, I saw the glory of God go out from our midst. Because the people did not walk in God's ways. They did not obey his commands. Now the glory of God departs the city, and the Babylonians come in and destroy the city. They desecrate the temple. And it's because God's people did not listen to him. They didn't really seek out him in his glory. And so God, he takes his glory out of the city. And where he goes there is actually to the east of the city, which is over the Mount of Olives. So, it's like God's glory is going out over the Mount of Olives, which is exactly where Jesus is going to return someday, when he brings the glory back to Jerusalem. But for now, the glory has left. And so, you can imagine if you're in Jerusalem, seventy years after God's glory left and the Babylonians came in. And you know that God once dwelt with Moses in the tabernacle in the wilderness, and Moses would go talk to God, like a man speaks to his friend, and you know about King Solomon's temple, and how awesome it was when the glory of God descended into the temple. And now you know that for seventy years, God's glory has not been in the midst of his people. God's glory has departed. Now Zechariah, five months into you rebuilding the temple, Zechariah gets a vision and what is the promise of the vision that God is saying his glory will be in the midst of Jerusalem once again. That must have been the best news those people could have imagined. God is coming back to Jerusalem with his presence. He's going to be here among us, we're going to see his glory and it must have just stirred up the souls and lifted the hearts of these people to think that they would behold the glorious presence of God.
I’ve got to ask you a question. Do you want to go where God is? Do you want to be not just long distance, not just believing in God by faith, not just worshiping him here together with his spiritual presence among us? Does anybody here actually want to go see the glory of God, behold his Holiness, fall on your face in worship, and have the most overwhelming experience that you've ever known? That's the promise here, see, and you see a lot of Christians that act like they're pretty content with how things are right now, let me just tell you that everything you've ever known is not as good as what you're going to know, when you see the glory in our midst, that's what we're looking forward to. And see, the people in Jerusalem, they kind of understood that maybe better than we do. You don't want to just have this long distance by faith relationship with God, you want God right down the street, and you want to be able to go into his presence, and you want to behold the holy splendor of the living God radiating all around you like nothing you've ever seen before. That's what you want.
When you think about how excited people get to go to a concert to see somebody's performance, or how excited people get to travel to a place to see something at that destination. I mean, there is no concert or no destination that will compare when God is arriving and showing his glory in the New Jerusalem, there is nothing that will ever compare to being in the midst of that. If that is the climax of your life, that is what everything is leading up to, are you looking forward to it like wow, being in the spatial, the same space as God, that is by far and away, we're going to be the best thing; I can't wait for that.
Go back to Zechariah 2, because it says if you can really get this idea of God's glory being in our midst, and after that series of verses there we went from Exodus, and we went over to Kings, and we went over to Ezekiel, well, you could at the end of that series of verses write down revelation 21. Because what did Jesus say to his disciples? He said, If I leave, don't be troubled, because I'm going to what? To prepare a place for you. And then I'm going to come and get you and take you to be with me. And when you read Revelation 21, here's the city coming down out of heaven, it’s called the New Jerusalem. Who's going to be in the middle of the New Jerusalem, the glory of God? There's never going to be night in that city. There can't be night because you can't dim the glory of God that's going to be physically manifesting, just this radiant splendor of colors and light like you have never seen and it's just going to be all around us. It's going to be the definition of glorious. That's what it says we're all looking forward to. That's what Gods are ultimate purpose is he wants to have his glory in our midst. And so that's Zechariah chapter 2, introducing that promise again to God's people. And so, look, there's an immediate response here in verse 6, “I will be the glory in her midst.” And you can see there it says, “Up” exclamation point, “Up” exclamation point. And then again, in verse 7, it says “Up”. Now, this word, I don't even know if they fully know how to translate this word. It's just some kind of exclamation. I've seen it translated, hey, hey, or move, go, like it's just some word to get your attention. If God's glory is coming to Jerusalem, well, then you don't want to still be living in the land of the north. Hey, look at verse 7, up escaped to Zion, you who dwell with the daughter of Babylon.
So, when King Nebuchadnezzar comes in 586 BCE, and he destroys Jerusalem, he takes Daniel, his friends, a lot of the Jews, he takes them, and he exiles them to Babylon. Now, some of them roughly seventy years later, have come back. Some of them are still living in Babylon. You want to know why? Babylon’s a bad boy, I mean, Babylon was kind of like the big empire of its day. Yeah, it got taken over by the Medes and the Persians. But guess what, they're now kind of the big empire. They're like the most powerful nation now. And so why do you want to go down to beat down Jerusalem town, when you could be chilling with the Medes and the Persians who are kind of the most powerful nation on the planet. So very few people so far have even come back to Jerusalem. Some of them have gotten very happy in the exile that some of them have found themselves to be very comfortable in the nice conditions over there in Babylon. And so it's like, hey, hey, you can't stay in Babylon, the glory is coming back to Jerusalem, or it says it's coming back to Zion. If God's glory is going to be here, then you want to be here. “Up! Up!” You’ve got to sell your house, you’ve got to move back out of Babylon, you’ve got to come back to Jerusalem. So, if you're going to understand what it's saying here in these verses, you’ve got to know Babylon, and you’ve got to know Zion.
If you're taking notes, write those two names down, because those two names are physical places. But then they come to represent more than just those physical places, right? Babylon is the kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar that invaded Judah and Jerusalem and took the Jews there for exile for seventy years. But Babylon becomes now the symbol of the reigning nations of the mighty countries of the powerful world rulers and the great cities of planet earth. That's what Babylon starts to represent. And Zion. Zion is a physical mount theory, if you know about Jerusalem, Jerusalem is a city on a hill, you always go up to Jerusalem because of the high elevation. And David, he built the original city on Mount Zion. Solomon, he built the temple on Mount Moriah, the mount that's right outside the city where God's glory departed, where Jesus is coming back. That's the Mount of Olives. So, when it says Zion, it's talking about the city of David, the original Jerusalem, like, don't stay in physical Babylon. But see, Zion becomes the name for this future place of glory, like where is God going to be in the midst of his people? Where can I go and actually be in the same space as God? They start to use Zion for that. So, these are real physical places, but they come to represent Babylon is living in the nations of this world, making yourself as comfortable as you can in the here and now. Zion is living for the kingdom of God and living to see his glory. One is living for the flesh, living for the current time. One is living by faith, living for the future. Hey, if God's glory is coming to Zion, you’ve got to sell everything, leave Babylon behind, flee, escape, while you can. Don't get comfortable in Babylon, because here's what's going to happen. Look at Zechariah 2:8, “For thus said the Lord of hosts, after his glory sent me to the nations who plundered you.” Yeah, I know, Babylon came in and plundered you. Well, after that, he who touches you touches the apple of his eye. So, Behold, I'm going to come now and I'm going to shake my hand over that. Let me tell you what I'm going to do to Babylon and these other nations. I'm going to shake my hand over them, and they shall become plunder for those who serve them. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me. Oh, things are changing. Babylon was used to judge Jerusalem. Well, you better get on back down to Jerusalem now because now the Lord's coming and he's going to judge Babylon. Now. The Lord has set himself against all the nations who were against him and his people. And when he comes back now, he's going to judge the nations and rule them with a rod of iron. And he's going to be ruling from Zion, from Jerusalem. So, make sure you're not living in Babylon, you’d better get on down to Zion, because he's going to judge Babylon. But you can find safety in Zion.
Point number two, You’ve got to get it down like this: Choose to leave Babylon for Zion. You’ve got to choose to leave Babylon for Zion. That's what it's saying. You want to go where God's glory is, you don't want to live to be comfortable among the nations of this world. That is the call. And who is saying all this? When, in verse 9 at the end of verse 9, when it says, Then when the Lord comes, and he comes to show his glory in Zion, and he comes to judge and shake Babylon, then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me. Who's this person talking that sent by the Lord of hosts, who's going to show up someday? And then we're going to know that he was sent by God. Who is it? Does anybody want to take a guess? We taught this to the kids this week, if you're a church, and somebody asks a question, and you're not sure, Jesus is the way to go. Okay, so that's why we made that very clear this week, all right, it's most likely going to be the right answer around these parts. Okay. And this is now getting deeper.
If you go to Ezekiel chapter 40. And you look at the man there with the measuring line in his hand, doing all these measurements of Jerusalem, it's Jesus. If you go to Isaiah 42, and following chapters, where someone's been sent as a servant of the Lord, who's the one who's been sent as a servant of the Lord? The one who's going to be pierced for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities. See, this man with the measuring line, this one has been sent by the Lord of hosts, this is Jesus speaking to Zechariah. This is Jesus saying, I'm bringing the glory back to Jerusalem. And when I come back to Jerusalem, I'm coming against the other nations. And if you're a part of the other nations, you’d better flee, you’d better escape, you’d better sell everything and get moving now, because when I come back, you don't want to be in Babylon when I come back, because I'm coming back to my people in Zion. That's Jesus speaking. And see, this is what people think. And if you've heard this week a dumbed down compromised version of Christianity, where people come to you and they say, hey, when you die, what do you want to do? Do you want to go to heaven when you die? Or do you want to go to hell when you die? Like, do you want to go and be in God's glorious presence? Or do you want absolute darkness and weeping and gnashing of teeth? That's how the gospel gets presented these days, like, hey, what would you pick when you die? That's not how the Scripture presents the gospel. The Scripture doesn't say, where do you want to go when you die? The Scripture says, What do you want to live for right now? Do you want to live for Zion right now, or are you still living in Babylon right now, because if you're still living in Babylon, you're going to be judged like the rest of Babylon and you’d better, Hey! Hey, go move today, sell your house, don't get comfortable in Babylon, flee while you can escape while you can. Because Jesus is coming back. And he's going to destroy all the nations. It's not too hard to see that the nations of the world are out of control. They don't really care about the people and justice isn’t reigning, and Jesus is not okay with any of it. And he's going to come back and judge the nations. And if you're a part of the nations, you’d better flee while you can, you’d better get to Zion now. That's what this is saying. The choice is not between heaven and hell after you die. The choice is, do you want to live for this world right now? Or are you living for God's glory later? Are you living to satisfy yourself in your flesh? Or are you living to please God with your life? That's the choice you're making right now. And it's one or the other. You cannot do what so many people who call themselves Christians in America are trying to do and get the best of both worlds. I want the best of Babylon and I want to go to Zion when I die. How do I do that? Well, some people are acting like you can't do that. Those people are not Zechariah. And they're not Jesus speaking to you through the prophets. Because Jesus is saying, take your pick and choose carefully. You want Babylon? Babylon looks good right now. Jerusalem looks beat down right now. Take your pick. Because here's what I'm telling you. You don't want to be in Babylon when I come back. You want to see my glory in the midst of Jerusalem? Where are you choosing to live? That's what Jesus says. This is how Jesus presents the gospel. You want to gain your life here, you're ultimately going to lose that life. You lose your life here, you're ultimately going to gain that life. Which one? You either want God and all of his glory and splendor in the New Jerusalem, or you want Babylon.
And let's just get real my friends. America is the new Babylon. We are the world power. Well, maybe at some point in your life, you thought America, Jesus, my faith, we can all do this together. Those days are over my friends. Our nation is going in anti-God way, we are going to weigh all the nations of the earth that commit their abominations against God. We are now just one of the many nations that have gone down this path throughout world history. And so, we now find ourselves living in cities without walls. We're living in pretty comfortable conditions, and a nation that is clearly moving away from God and getting more wicked day by day. And we now find ourselves. Are you happy here in Babylon? Are you settled? Or you like it, kind of feels nice to live in Babylon. Jesus is telling you today, hey, hey, go move. Get up. Get up today. Don't flee, escape while you can. Because you want to be in Zion. Do not settle for the cheap thrills of the sins of this life when there is glory coming. That's what Jesus is saying. That's what he's saying. And you’ve got to listen to what Jesus is saying. Because we have this idea, which is now built into what we think it means to be a Christian, that you can somehow have a foot in both places like you can live it up in Babylon, and you can be all about you know what America is now America is all about me. That's what we are. We are the country of me, right? It is all about my family, my money, my rights, my fun, my vacation, my free time, my house, and don't you dare take away any of my stuff. That's what we are all about. We are not one nation under God. We are not in God we trust, we are all about me, my family, how much can I get for me and mine. That's the American dream. That's the American way. That is the definition of Babylon. That is the definition of I'm worshiping me, I am not worshiping the glory of God. I'm worshiping myself, my family and my glory. You can only live in one of those two places is what Jesus is saying.
If you find yourself in Babylon, today, you should get up and run today is what it's saying, Hey, you don't think you're going to make it in America. Because when Jesus comes back, America is going down just like the rest of them. That's what he's saying. He's saying, he's using words like, flee, escape. Jesus is not happy with America. He's not okay with the compromise Christianity in America, Jesus, when he comes back, there's only going to be one safe place, Jerusalem, Zion, the people who are really like, I'll leave it all. If I can just gain Jesus. They all lose family all lose money, all lose whatever I got to lose, you can take this world, but give me Jesus and his glory. I want to be there. I want that for eternity. I don't care what happens to me now, as long as I'm there later. That's what I'm living for. Jesus is looking for people like that. And are you one of those people that he's looking for? Like Jesus right now, he sees only two kinds of people, daughters of Babylon and daughters of Zion. See, we somehow think there's some way we could kind of, I'm not Zion as I should be. But I'm not as Babylon as other people. That's how we think Jesus knows who you are. And that's what it's clear here. Hey, daughters of Zion, get ready. Sing, rejoice. We're going to celebrate. Hey, daughters of Babylon, get ready. In fact, run while you can. Because it's coming, the judgment is coming. That's what this passage is saying. And if you know where God's glory is going to be, that's greater. I don't know what you're living for, that you think is so good in America, that you can't live without it. But I guarantee you, whatever it is, you're living for. It is not worth losing the glory of God and experiencing him and all of his Majesty and being in God's presence. God's presence. When we see the cheap thrills that people were living for down here, and then we see what God's glory is like to be in his presence. It will seem ridiculous to us that people thought they had a good life in Orange County or LA County, when wow, look at what we have now in the New Jerusalem.
The life that we will have, when God's glory is in our midst in Jerusalem, in Zion is so much greater. It's not even worth comparing to what we're experiencing right now. I remember one time this young man came into my office and he was acting very smug. He came in basically to tell me why he was rejecting Jesus as his Lord and Savior. And I just asked him, I said, Wait, well, I'm living for Jesus. I'm banking my whole life on eternity with Jesus, I think that's going to be better than anything. So what do you think is so good that you're willing to miss out on the glory of Jesus? And you think you're going to have it better than me? I just talked to him like that. And the guy couldn't answer the question, it was like he'd never thought about it before. Like he was so intent on rejecting Jesus, he couldn't even really think through what was going to be better than Jesus? And the answer that he gave me is, well, it's really important to me to make people laugh. And it's easier to make people laugh if you can say inappropriate things. That's what the guy said to me. Like you're going to miss out on the glory, and you're going to be an absolute darkness, so you can use a few swear words and say inappropriate jokes. Like, it really doesn't make sense. We're promised endless glory, and we're settling for cheap thrills.
Go over with me to Isaiah 48. Look what Jesus says. You will not be able to figure out the future of planet earth by what you see by what you feel. The only way that you can know the future of what's going to happen is you have to listen to what Jesus says, you have to hear the words of Jesus. If you live by the news, you will be deceived. If you live by the good news, you will know the future before it happens. And through these prophets, I don't know why we're sleeping on these Prophets when they're telling us exactly what's about to go down. And here in Isaiah, chapter 48, Jesus is speaking because he's the one that has been sent. He's the sent one here, and Isaiah 40s and 50s. And look at how hard Jesus is trying to get your attention. Isaiah 48:12, “Listen to me, O Jacob, and Israel, whom I called! I am he; I am the first, and I am the last.” Like, will you please listen to what I'm about to say? Isaiah 48:14, “Assemble,” let's get everybody together, “assemble all of you and listen.” Okay, I need you guys to hear me on this, “Who among them has declared these things? The Lord loves him; he shall perform his purpose on Babylon, and his arm shall be against the Chaldeans.” Now, the land of the Chaldeans was another name for Babylon. So, God now, Yeah, God had a purpose where he used Babylon to judge Jerusalem. Now it's different. Now God has a purpose where he's going to go against Babylon. And so, look what happens here in Isaiah 48:16, “Draw near to me, hear this,” Here's the third time Jesus is trying to get their attention. from the beginning I have not spoken in secret, from the time it came to be I have been there. And now the Lord God has sent me. Who's the me that's talking here? Jesus and His Spirit. Isaiah 49:17, “Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go.” Isaiah 48:20-22, Go out from Babylon, flee from Chaldea, declare this with a shout of joy, proclaim it, send it out to the end of the earth; say, ‘The Lord has redeemed his servant Jacob!’ They did not thirst when he led them through the deserts; he made water flow for them from the rock; he split the rock and the water gushed out. ‘There is no peace,’ says the Lord, ‘for the wicked.’”
You think that's peace you're experiencing in Babylon? That's not really peace. There is a judgment coming on Babylon. But look at what God did for his people. Get out of Babylon, get over to Zion. Remember how awesome it was when God was with his people? He's feeding them, like manna from heaven, he's given them water from the rock. Like if you've got God, you've got everything you need. So, I don't care how comfortable you think you are in Babylon, get out of Babylon, and go to where God is. That's the call of Jesus here. This is Jesus crying out, saying, I'm coming back to judge the nations. If you're at home in the nations, then you can't be at home with me in Zion, take your pick. You want to be at home in America, or you want to be at home in the New Jerusalem? That's the choice you're actually making with your life. And if you get comfortable here, and you like how it is in the world, hey, don't be deceived. You can't be a friend of the world and a friend of God. You can't love the world and love God. No, you’re either all about his glory and being in his midst, or you're just one of the mes in America, living for yourself. And there's no way to do both of these things. In fact, if you find yourself in Babylon today, up, up, hey, hey, you need to get out of Babylon, now while you still can. That's what he's saying. You’ve got to choose to leave Babylon and go to Zion.
And under this point number two, write down 2 Corinthians 6: 14-18. This is where Paul says this same exact idea to the church in Corinth and if you know the church in Corinth, it was a lot like the church in America, there was a lot of division, a lot of sexual immorality, or they didn't even want to listen to Paul when he was speaking to them. And so, Paul, he gives him this idea, hey, you can't be unequally yoked with unbelievers. If you're all about the life of Jesus, and you want to be with Jesus forever, and you have the life of Jesus that you're looking forward to, well, you can't have the life of Jesus and then share life with people who don't have Jesus. You can't have fellowship with them. So, you've got to. This is what it says in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18. It quotes Hebrew Scriptures, quotes this same idea. You've got to come out from them, and be separate, says the Lord. Yeah, you live in the United States of America. But when did you separate yourself from the United States of America? When did you move out of Babylon is God's question, because if you're going to be where God is, in his glory, God is holy, there is no one like God, God is set apart. So, if you want to be where God is, then you need to be holy as he is holy. You need to set yourself apart, you can't blend in with Babylon. You can't just be one of your fellow-Americans, you've got to separate yourself from all that is going on in America today. He's calling you come out and be separate, then I'll be your God, then you can be my people, then we can dwell together and you can see my glory in your midst. But you can't stay where you are and see my holiness. No, you have to be set apart. That's what it means to be holy, you are set apart from the sin that you used to be in, and you are set apart now for the new purpose, you are set apart for the very presence of the glory of God. So, see, we shouldn't be like, I want to be comfortable. Now. I want to strongly encourage you, you don't want to be comfortable in Babylon. That's not what Jesus is saying. You want to be uncomfortable now, so you can be satisfied later. If you're satisfied. Now, you might be hurting later. That's the warning here. And so, this is the real choice. Somebody says to you, hey, why? What does it mean to choose Jesus? Don't tell them, well, do you want to go to heaven or hell? No, no, no. Do you want to be in the glory? Or do you want to live for right here, right now? That's the real choice.
Go back to Zechariah chapter 2, there are going to be two responses to that choice. And you see it here in Zechariah 2:10-13. Now, before we move on, to 10 to 13, I’ve got to show you what's my favorite phrase in all of Zechariah 2, because that's kind of an intense message to flee out of Babylon, because it's going to get judged. But there's also this preciousness of how much God wants to be there with his people. Like, this is so important to God. And I hope after today's sermon, it's very important to you too, if it hasn't been already. God, he loves people in a real and genuine way; God wants to be with in the actual same space as people he loves. I see some people who are young and in love, and they are not cool with long distance. Anybody want to give an amen to that? Anybody remember when you were young and in love, and your fiancé, your girlfriend, whoever it was, they were far away from you, were you just like, it's no big deal if they're far away? We can love each other as much. If they're some other city, some other place. I don't need to be around them to love them. No one, when you really love somebody, what do you want? You want to be with them. Let me tell you something, God really loves you. And he wants to be with you. He wants to be in the same space as you. That's what this is about. This is God's passionate desire. He wants to be God. He wants us to be his people. And he wants his glory in our midst. That's what he's going for. And so, it says this thing here, that is just beautiful to me. It talks about the people being the apple of his eye. Did you see that there in Zechariah 2, at the end of verse 8? It says “For he who touches you touches the apple of his eye.” Who's ever heard that phrase? The apple of my eye before? Has anybody ever heard that? Did you know it came from Zechariah chapter 2, verse 8. Did you know that's where that phrase came from. And in fact, the word here for apple in Zechariah 2 verse 8 is a word this the only time it's used in all of Hebrew. So, people aren't even exactly hundred percent sure what the word means. Because this is its only usage. Now there are other phrases that are translated apple of his eye in other verses in the Hebrew scriptures, but the apple of your eye is the pupil of your eyes. So, it's that little circle in the center of your eyes. So, if you're looking at somebody, the apple of their eye is the pupil but the way the phrase is used here, it's used as like looking through the eye. What are you looking at? What is your eye focused on? What do you care about the most? So you're, you're looking at it, you're gazing at it, you're really trying to, you're concerned about it. You want to see how it's doing. So, you're fixed on it. That's the idea here, even after the glory of God departed. And in now this promise that the glory of God is he's coming back, even during all of their sin and rebellion and turning away, what an amazing phrase that the people of Israel are still the apple of his eye. Like he is still focused on that, he still cares about them. He still loves them. He still knows the promises he's made to them. And so, I love this expression, because it says, he who touches you touches the apple of his eye. So, it's like when the Babylonians came in and destroyed Jerusalem, it's like they gave it to Jerusalem. And when they gave it to Jerusalem, what did they do? They poked God in his eye because his eye is fixed on Jerusalem. And so, it's like Babylon, now they poked God in the eye, they're going to get it. Everybody get out of Babylon. That's the idea here. And this phrase, the apple of his eye, this phrase, you could write down, if you're taking notes, write down Deuteronomy 32:10. Because this could be what Zechariah 2:8 is referring to, is Deuteronomy 32:10, that God found his people in a desert land in the howling waste of the wilderness, and he encircled them. He cared for them. He kept them as the apple of his eye. What does God do with his people? He surrounds them, he cares for them, he's concerned for them. He keeps them, he keeps them safe, he preserves them, he puts a guard around them. Why? Because his eye is fixed on his people. God knows every single one of his people, and he's going to get all of us to glory, not just the Jewish people, everybody who's put their faith in Jesus Christ. People from many nations, tribes, and tongues, we're all going to end up in the Jerusalem with Jesus beholding his glory for evermore. That's the idea. And so yeah, God is now against those who poked his people. So, they poked him in the eye, and he's coming to judge the nations. He's coming to judge Babylon.
But don't you worry, he's got a future for his people. And he's watching out for them. And so Zechariah 2:10, says, “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion.” Notice in Zechariah 2, you are either a daughter of Babylon, or you are a daughter of Zion. And if you're one of the people of Zion, it's time to start celebrating because you're going to see a glory show. And you're going to be in a place better than any trip you've ever taken, better than any concert or church service you've ever been to. Like when you get to be there, you should start singing now. It's going to be so good. You should start having joined now it's going to be so amazing. “Sing and rejoice, O Daughter of Zion, for behold,” look what's going to happen. “I come and I will dwell in your midst,” I'm going to be right there among you, “declares the Lord.” And it's not just us, 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're going to know in an experiential kind of way that you don't know now you're going to know my glory. When I'm there in your midst, you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you, and the Lord, he's going to be right there with Judah in the Holy Land. He's going to choose Jerusalem. So that's one response. One response is you can walk out of here today more excited to be in God's glorious presence, singing and rejoicing. Here's the other response, Zechariah 2:13, “Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord, for he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.” Oh, you're choosing Babylon over Zion? Oh, well, there's not much more to say about that, except silence. And, in bad news, God's already getting up. He's already made his plan. He's already on the move. God's getting up out of his holy throne. And when he comes back, oh, you don't want to be in Babylon, my friend. You want to be a daughter of Zion. And so there are two different responses here. Some people, when Jesus actually returns to Zion, when he actually shows up in his glory, it says every eye is, there's coming a day where every eye is actually going to see the glory of Jesus unveiled, revealed; we're finally going to see Jesus is going to enter and back into space and time every eye is going to see him and what will the people of the world do? They will mourn because they will realize we're living in the wrong place. We weren't living for his glory. And what will the people, the people of faith, what will we do when Jesus comes back? We will have a joy unlike the best experience you've had so far beyond anything that you could compare it to it. That's what they used to call it, the rapture, not because it was about like, when were we going to be with Jesus, though they called it the rapture because of the ecstatic joy, delight euphoria we are all going to feel when we get to see Jesus in all of his glory and be with him forever. So, when Jesus comes back, there will be shouts of joy and there will be sighs and tears based on how you lived your life.
So, point number three: You’ve got to stay ready for the day of Jesus, stay ready for the day of Jesus. And the emphasis of all this kind of prophecy is you’ve got to get ready now. Up up, hey, hey, don't put it off another day, if you know you're still living in Babylon. While we're studying Zechariah, 2, you should flee and get out of there now today, right after this service. And if you know you're already looking forward to the glory in our midst, then you should walk out of this service, singing and rejoicing because no one is going to snatch you out of the Father's hand. No one can separate you from the love that God has for you in Christ Jesus, and you seeing the glory of God is the guaranteed happily ever after in your life story. And your life, it's going to climax, it's going to peak like the best thing that you're going to ever know is yet to come when you're there. And see, we think like it's cool to worship now. And don't get me wrong. I like singing songs with you guys. I really do. Jesus, thank you. That's my jam. But if you think this kind of worship, this long distance love kind of worship that we're doing is cool, turn with me to Zephaniah 3, it's just a few pages to the left. Let me just talk to my brothers and sisters in Christ. And let me just tell you, we ain't really worshipped yet not like we're going to do when Jesus comes. That's what it describes. Zephaniah is an intense book of prophecy. It's number nine out of the twelve. And it was the last one of the twelve before the exile. Zephaniah is all about the day of the Lord. In fact, if you look at Zephaniah 1:2, how does this book begin? It says, “’I will utterly sweep away everything from the face of the earth,’ declares the Lord.” I'm just going to come and I'm going to judge the whole world is what God says. And so, verse Zephaniah 1:7 says, “Be silent before the Lord God, for the day of the Lord is near,” there's either silence because you're not ready for God to come. And so, a lot of people they avoid Zephaniah, because it's so intense about the day of judgment that is coming. But that's a real sad thing for us that we avoid Zephaniah, because if you read through all the intense judgment that's coming, you get to the people who are ready for the glory. And that's what happens in Zephaniah 3:14, hey, now let's talk about the people who decided to flee Babylon, and move out of the land of the Chaldeans and not make a life and all about me here in America. Let's talk sing aloud, O daughter of Zion, shout, O Israel, rejoice and exalt with all your heart, oh, daughter of Jerusalem, the Lord has taken away the judgments against you. There's no judgment for you anymore. That's what we're saying to Israel, you've already been judged. Now I'm coming back. If you believe in Jesus, he already was judged for you. Now he's coming back. The Lord has taken away the judgments against you. He has cleared away your enemies, the king of Israel, the Lord is in your midst, you shall never again fear evil, like how come that's not a famous verse, right? They're like, hey, there's a place you can go. And if you get to that space, from the moment you're in that space forever after that, you will never feel anxiety, worry, depression, any kind of fear; you will never know that once you're in the same space with Jesus, it will be impossible for you to think an anxious thought ever again. Does that sound good to anybody? Oh, I'd rather stay in Babylon where anxiety is on the rise. Depression is on the rise. Everything. Oh, we've gotten so good. And it's so clearly falling apart. Well, when you're in the space with Jesus, you will never again fear evil. There's nothing to be anxious about. That is amazing. That is where I want to go. On that day, it shall be said to Jerusalem. Fear not O Zion. Let not your hands grow weak. The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save he will rejoice over you with gladness. He will quiet you by his love. He will exalt over you with loud singing. Hey, I enjoy when we get together and sing songs, but I'm ready for the day when we are falling on our faces. You know, people sometimes they lift up their hands, or they get down on their knees like they're being expressive in worship. It won't be optional. On that day, everybody, you'll be hitting the ground, you will be overwhelmed. Like you were in the glorious presence of God, you might not even know I mean, there might be such times of joy that you shout like you've never shouted before. And then there might be moments where you're just so overwhelmed, you're on your face on the ground, and it's saying here, you think it's cool to worship and sing songs. God, wait, do you hear the day when God sing songs to you? Have you ever thought about that? An interactive worship service where it's not just us crying out to the Lord, but the Lord quiets us with his words of love. And the Lord sings over us, the Lord shouts over us, the Lord, all those anxieties, all those fears, all those things that I've gotten so used to in Babylon, now that I'm in Zion, the Lord just starts singing and that is gone forever. I want to go to this worship service, where God's the worship leader, and yeah, we're singing, we're shouting, but what will it be like to hear Jesus sing over you? What will it be like to see Jesus have the joy, the same joy that you're feeling? You can tell Jesus is feeling because here we are, it's finally happened. The moment my whole life has been building up towards his glory is now in our midst. See, that's what we're living for. And we cannot be at home here in Babylon because we want to go see Jesus in Zion. Am I speaking to anybody here today? Okay, well, let me pray for us.
Father in heaven. We are far too easily pleased, Father, we are so cheaply satisfied with the things going on here. And we don't really see through the words that you're giving us through these epic prophecies. How glorious it's going to be when you are in our midst. Just that one thought that we would never fear evil, again, just that one thought of you singing over us. Wow. Father, I pray for all my brothers and sisters, that we would realize if there's a space that you're at, I want to go to that place. And then I would be looking forward to that with all of my heart longing to be in your presence and behold your glory. Father, I pray that as we think more about you and your glory, that even coming to church would not be enough for us. Yes, we would love to sing, we would love to hear from you in your Word. We would love to worship you by faith, but we want to worship you by sight, Father, we want to see your glory revealed to us. When Jesus comes back when the one that you sent returns when he comes in glory over the Mount of Olives, and he restores your glory there to Jerusalem, we want to behold Jesus. And so Father, I just pray for all of us that we would set our hearts on Zion, and not on the things of this life. And I pray if there's anybody here today, and they know they're still living in Babylon. I pray that they could hear through an ancient prophecy in the book of Zechariah chapter 2, that they could hear Jesus say to them, hey, hey, you’ve got to get out of there. You’ve got to escape while you can. And you’ve got to come over to Jerusalem, you’ve got to move over to Zion, Father. If there are people who know that they're still living for themselves, and they're still living in their sin, and they're living for their money, and they're living for their family. I pray that today is the day of their escape from the judgment that is to come, and that they'll talk to someone after this service. And I pray for those of us who've left all that behind. We've sold everything, we've moved out of Babylon, we're on the way to Zion, we can't wait to be in your presence. I pray that you would show us today that the God who is holy, the God who reigns on a throne who is in heaven, that God who is high and lifted up, that same guy wants to dwell with people like us, and he wants to bring us into his glory. And he wants to welcome us and quiet us with his love and exalt over us with his own songs. God, what an amazing thing that you will sing for us, your people. And we will be there in your midst. And we will get to see you for who you really are. God, let us say Maranatha. Come Lord Jesus. We love Jesus more than anything else. You're so worth it, Father. There's nothing that compares. Please set our hearts on Zion, we pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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