December 10 - Messiah - Zechariah 9:9-10

Monday, December 10, 2012

December 10 - Messiah - Zechariah 9:9-10

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, thy King cometh unto thee; He is the righteous Saviour, and He shall speak peace unto the heathen.

Messiah was the first of many English oratorios for Handel; he never wrote another opera. Many of the performances we see today were not what he had originally intended because of his concern regarding availability of musicians.  The soloists were not separate from the choir, and there were many more than the four we generally see today (soprano, alto, tenor, bass). His original orchestra was simply a small string ensemble with the addition of trumpets and timpani.

In Revelation 12, the story of the Woman and the Dragon is told. It is a radically condensed version of the story of the Messiah’s birth, from the perspective of heaven. The woman who gives birth to the child is not Mary, but Israel.  She is clothed with the sun and has the moon under her feet. A crown of twelve stars is on her head.

Joseph had a dream about his family, as told in Genesis 37:37:9-10, In it we find he had the sun and moon and eleven stars bowing down to him. Jacob is the sun, Rachel is the moon and the twelve tribes of Israel are the stars.

This woman represents more than just a single individual. In Hosea 2:19-20, God tells Israel that He will betroth her to Himself. In Isaiah 54:5, He tells Israel that their Creator (Maker) is her husband. In Isaiah 9:6, we read “For unto US a child is born, to US a son is given …”

Mary was the vessel, but Israel is the mother of the Messiah. The entire nation of Israel is the US to whom this child is born.  He will come as king and Savior and he will bring peace.

In Micah 5:2, we recognize a familiar verse, but there is part of this that we rarely hear during the Christmas season. “But you, Bethlehem Ephratha, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”

The last portion of that sentence astounds me. From Bethlehem comes one of ancient times … He comes from eternity.

Israel is the bride of God. She was chosen by Him to be His light to the peoples of the world. The sun – Jacob (Israel), the moon – Rachel, the twelve stars – the twelve tribes, the beginning of this great nation’s existence. And from this bride … Israel, comes the Savior of the world.

Rejoice!  Rejoice Greatly!