1 Then I looked up, and there before me was a man with a measuring line in his hand. 2 I asked, “Where are you going?” He answered me, “To measure Jerusalem, to find out how wide and how long it is.” 3 While the angel who was speaking to me was leaving, another angel came to meet him 4 and said to him: “Run, tell that young man, ‘Jerusalem will be a city without walls because of the great number of people and animals in it. 5 And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will be its glory within.’ ~ Zechariah 2:1-5
Today, we transition into Zechariah 2, which has as its main theme the future glory of the city of Jerusalem. Fourteen miles west of the Dead Sea and three miles east of the Mediterranean, located on a rocky plateau about 2,500 feet above sea level and 3,800 feet above the Dead Sea sits the city of Jerusalem. It is a naturally fortified city because it is on a plateau. It can only be entered from the north. God chose this place to be His holy habitation. And, the city of Jerusalem is the one city that dominates the Bible.
In Luke 21:24 we read, "Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled."
Even though the rebirth of the nation of Israel happened in 1948, Gentiles still control Jerusalem. But, the miracle is the fact that the nation of Israel continues in our world! None of us have ever met a Jebusite, a Hivite, an Amorite, a Moabite, or an Edomite. But, we have surely met Israelites. We have met them because God has preserved them in their own land, even though they are surrounded by enemies.
When Israel's deliverer comes, Jerusalem will be exalted. In Isaiah 66:10 we read, "Rejoice Jerusalem. Be glad with her, all who love her. Rejoice with her for joy all you who mourn for her. The Lord says, 'Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river.'" That day is soon coming.
In v.1-2 of today's text we read, "1 Then I looked up, and there before me was a man with a measuring line in his hand. 2 I asked, “Where are you going?” He answered me, “To measure Jerusalem, to find out how wide and how long it is."
In the days of Zechariah, the Jews were in a terrible situation. The wall of Jerusalem was no longer and that once glorious home for the Jews was left in shambles. They were a small, insignificant minority, wondering how they would defend themselves. They had been threatened by their enemies, the Samaritans, and, for a short period, they had stopped rebuilding their city.
In Zechariah 2, Zechariah delivers a third vision and through it he told the people to commit to the rebuild of Jerusalem because God was in it. God, through Zechariah, is reminding the Jews that they are involved in an eternal plan.
One of our greatest challenges in this life is maintaining an eternal perspective. Life goes by so quickly. And yet we often get caught up in the day to day tasks and we forget that no one is promised tomorrow on this earth. James 4:14 refers to human life as a vapor: it appears for a while and then it vanishes. Perhaps if we remembered this truth we would have an easier time also remembering our purpose on earth. Life isn’t about accumulating money, power, or fame. Life’s about fulfilling God’s purpose for us. We must focus, therefore, on His eternal perspective.
In Colossians 3:2 we read, "Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things."
Although we live in time now, God created us for eternity. As Ecclesiastes 3:11 read, "God has also placed eternity in their hearts." We may live in time now, but eternity must be the backdrop of our lives. We must learn to live for eternal purposes.
In this vision, Zechariah is enabled to see the unseeable. God gives him eyes to see the big picture, to see what God sees. Zechariah sees a man who is measuring Jerusalem and that this great city that will be rebuilt.
In v.3-4 of today's text we read, "3 While the angel who was speaking to me was leaving, another angel came to meet him 4 and said to him: “Run, tell that young man, ‘Jerusalem will be a city without walls because of the great number of people and animals in it."
In Ezekiel 40:2, Ezekiel had a vision much like this one. “In the visions God brought me to the land of Israel, set me on a high mountain in which there was a structure like a city on the south. And he brought me there, and, behold, there was a man, whose appearance was like the appearance of bronze, with a line of flax in his hand, and a measuring reed; and he stood in the gate.”
Given the context in Ezekiel 40, there is little question that the man measuring Jerusalem is the Lord Jesus Christ. But, he is giving the dimensions of the Millennial Jerusalem. And, another angel interprets the message from the Angel of the Lord. He tells him to go back and tell Zechariah that Jerusalem will be rebuilt. Zechariah is bewildered because of the vastness of the city.
In v.5 of today's text we read, "And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will be its glory within."
This "wall of fire" symbolically refers to God’s protection and presence of the inhabitants of Jerusalem. This vision also speaks to the rebuilding of the New Jerusalem, and according to Revelation 21:1–4, it will be rebuilt just before the Millennium.
In ancient times, a city without walls was vulnerable to enemy attacks. This "wall of fire" speaks of God’s promise to be a wall of fire around Jerusalem. And, all who believe in Him, the God of the Bible, can be assured that He takes care of His own.