THE TENTS OF JUDAH
Zechariah 12:7 The LORD also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah.
Let us first understand that God is not just speaking of the difference in the housing of Judah from that which was available in Jerusalem. For the word tents here, reveals the humility of Abraham’s spirit, (Hebrews 11:9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: 10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.), and is referring to the condition of the heart of faith!
For in Isaiah 54:2 as God instructs that the tent be enlarged, the stake cords be lengthened, and the stakes be strengthened, he is not originating a Boy Scout camping procedure! He is speaking to a person! In verse one of that chapter it is clear that he is speaking to those unable to bear offspring in order to bring forth the lineage of Messiah! He is instructing this person, like a tent, that their dwelling place shall be greatly enlarged by grace alone, and not by works of righteousness which we have done! For the barren flesh and it’s ability is of no consequence to the effectual birth of the Spirit! For Messiah shall be both brought into his Humanity, and into the hearts of his offspring by the births of the Holy Spirit! (Luke 1:35; John 3:3,5,8).
And the Lord’s instruction to that “tent” to enlarge herself is the teaching of progressive sanctification, wherein the believer is to “perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord.” (2 Corin. 7:1). Peter speaks of it as our need to grow in grace (2 Peter 3:18).
We also read in John 1:14 that the Lord Jesus Christ dwelt among us! And that word is also translated tabernacled! And of course, the tabernacle was a tent! Listen at the Apostle Paul’s inspired revelation of God’s dwelling place: Ephesians 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. This “growing” temple is not said to be a tent, of course, but it does reveal to us that God’s dwelling place is not just “with” his people, but actually “in” them in order to effect their spiritual maturity! John 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
The Apostle Paul also makes it very clear to all that the true, Creator/Savior God does not dwell in temples made with hands! (Acts 17:24) Demons are more likely to inhabit those! The Prophet Isaiah gives us a clear understanding of exactly where God does dwell!
Isaiah 57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. The Lord God’s high and holy place is in the meek and lowly heart of the realized, confessed sinner!
The eternal Son, although without sin, was made like his brethren, and dwells in their humanity also! He is God manifest in the flesh. And he says of himself, I am meek and lowly in heart: (Matt. 11:29).
Then, secondly, we must see that the Lord is here accomplishing a two fold purpose. This is clearly laid out for us in this verse: Psalm 18:27 For thou wilt save the afflicted people; but wilt bring down high looks.
Be assured that it is the Lord who originates these two different groups! 1 Sam. 2:7 The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. And, be assured that he has a wise purpose in doing so! He chooses the foolish in order to confound those wise in their own eyes! And so he uses the poor in spirit, represented by tents, to restrain the magnification of the glory of those represented by houses!
1 Corinthians 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.
One thing you may be sure of, and that is Almighty God shall control the glory! The only reason given for the tents of Judah being saved first is that the glory, both of David’s house (lineage), and that of Jerusalem’s, not be allowed to magnify itself against these lowly ones! God dwells with those termed, the tents of Judah, and therefore, no flesh should glory in his presence. (1 Corin. 1:29).
Those who think that the natural lineage of David shall somehow be exalted above the spiritual lineage of Christ, (those born of the Spirit), are sadly mistaken! The Apostle Paul warns us concerning these natural genealogies! 1 Timothy 1:4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. Titus 3:9 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. They gender vain glory!
Isaiah 2:11 The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. 12 For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low:
Listen to the Lord’s instruction as to our attending to the vain glory of our nature: Jeremiah 9:23 Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: 24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD. James 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
In Zechariah 12:8 we read; In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them. In the day of Christ’s present spiritual kingdom even the feeble shall be as David!
In that transitional time between the finishing out of the era of the law, and the time of the accomplished redemption to end all sacrifices, John the Baptist was said to be the greatest man born of woman! Matthew 11:11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
Then he was greater than David, than Elijah, than Isaiah, even than Moses! But look carefully at the last statement in that verse. The least in the kingdom, that is the most feeble little soul, just born of the Spirit, by the blood of Christ applied, IS GREATER THAN JOHN THE BAPTIST!!! And since John the Baptist was greater than David, the newest Spirit-born child of grace is greater than David!
So the Lord was giving Zechariah a glimpse into the realm of the New Testament kingdom, and of the value of a blood washed soul being far greater than any that only held natural lineage in the Jewish realm! Accept it! There is no Jew of the natural lineage of David that can be compared to the least Spirit-born Jew or Gentile!
Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
Romans 10:12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Acts 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. 36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:) 37 That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; 42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. 43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
Remember – Abraham’s seed is Christ! Gal. 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
Pastor Gene Breed
June 9, 2011