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The Age of the Measuring Tape

October 14, 2009

We are living in the Age of the Measuring Tape. At least according to Zechariah 2:1-13 that is the case. This is a triumphant passage about the coming glory of the Bride of Christ, the New Jerusalem and the New Creation. The proper response to this passage is the awed silence at the plans of God the Angel of the Lord (Jesus, see footnote on previous post) commands of us in verse 13.

Zechariah sees a vision of a man measuring the size of Jerusalem, but it is not yet measurable. It is still growing and will be a city without walls (vs. 4) because people from all nations will be brought into its midst (vs.11). This is fulfilled in the Church. A new Israel, a new Jerusalem with people from every nation making up a Holy Nation with God as their glory and protection (vs. 5).

Verse 5 is a reminder of God as protector in the wilderness in the form of a Pillar of Fire over his people. God often reveals himself as a fire around His people with his glory in the midst of them. This coupled with the fact that the church is described as a scrub tree (myrtle grove, 1:8-11) explains the odd imagery of the burning bush that appeared to Moses in Exodus, but the point here is that God’s glory and protection are on the Church.

Vv. 6-9 declare that the remnant of Israel is to return to Jerusalem because of the coming destruction of Israel’s enemies. Israel is the apple of God’s eye again, returned to the state of Deut. 32:10-11, the apple of God’s eye, guarded and protected like the eagle protects her young.

The passage ends with two responses from us, we are to sing and rejoice at the presence of the Lord (vs.10) and stand in awe and silence because God is accomplishing his plans in the world (vs. 13). Douglas Wilson points out that by the time we get to Revelation 21 the measurements are done, the city is completed. In the meantime, we live in the Age of the Measuring Tape, the tape is expanding as Christ is building His church, the apple of His eye. We get to be a part of that through our worship and our obedience to the Great Commission.

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