By Martin Cisneros
17 “Again proclaim, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts: “ My cities shall again spread out through prosperity; The LORD will again comfort Zion, And will again choose Jerusalem.”’” (Zechariah 1:17)
Now, follow me carefully on the importance of this verse as we peak at two New Testament passages, one from Ephesians and another from Hebrews.
11 Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— 12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. 19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, (Ephesians 2:11-19)
Now reading from Hebrews 12:18-29: 18 For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest, 19 and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore. 20 (For they could not endure what was commanded: “And if so much as a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned or shot with an arrow.” 21 And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.”) 22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel. 25 See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, 26 whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” 27 Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. 29 For our God is a consuming fire.
So here we have it! Jews and Gentiles made one in Christ. And Jews and Gentiles have come to New Jerusalem in Christ Jesus. Now, let's go back to Zechariah. We read chapter 1, verse 17 that He would again choose and comfort Jerusalem. And He's a consuming fire in Hebrews 12, which we've just read. Turn with me to Zechariah 2, verses 4-5:
4 who said to him, “Run, speak to this young man, saying: ‘Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls, because of the multitude of men and livestock in it. 5 For I,’ says the LORD, ‘will be a wall of fire all around her, and I will be the glory in her midst.’”
He said He'd be a wall of fire around man and animals and He'd choose and comfort in the place called Jerusalem where He'd do this. And Ephesians 2 and Hebrews 12 indicate that where you have the new man in Christ, the barrier or walls are broken down and you are at His Jerusalem if you're in Christ. Let's close for now with going to Hosea chapter 2 and Isaiah 40. In Hosea 2 we'll be brief with only reading verses 14 and 18. But I would encourage you to go to your Bible and read verses 14 through 23 of Hosea chapter 2. Reading with verse 14:
14 “ Therefore, behold, I will allure her, Will bring her into the wilderness, And speak comfort to her.
And in verse 18 we read:
18 In that day I will make a covenant for them With the beasts of the field, With the birds of the air, And with the creeping things of the ground. Bow, sword, and battle I will shatter from the earth, To make them lie down safely.
This is a Covenant of Peace for the animals and not an advanced subjugation of animals to us for more evils of man's greed to stomp on them without regard for their needs and suffering. Isaiah 63:14 says:
14 As a beast goes down into the valley, And the Spirit of the LORD (or the Anointing, viz., Isaiah 10:27) causes him to rest, So You lead Your people, To make Yourself a glorious name.
He is a gentle Saviour. Although in His first coming He was only sent to the house of Israel and not to Gentiles and animals, that never meant He intended increased sorrows upon Gentiles and animals without any end to their afflictions in sight as the ages would unfold. Isaiah 40:10-11 says:
10 Behold, the Lord GOD shall come with a strong hand, And His arm shall rule for Him; Behold, His reward is with Him, And His work before Him. 11 He will feed His flock like a shepherd (animals are figuratively all over Jerusalem according to Zechariah 2:4-5 and Jeremiah 31:27-28); He will gather the lambs with His arm, And carry them in His bosom, And gently lead those who are with young.
In closing, it says in Psalm 89:34:
34 My covenant I will not break, Nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips.
We can count on Him to be as merciful to the animals that He's building Himself as a wall of fire around, through the preaching of this Animal Gospel, as we can count on Him to fulfill everything else He's vowed to us in the Blood of Christ Jesus. Hosea 2:18 is His Blood Sworn Oath!