Chapter # 1 Paragraph # 5 Study # 9
Thesis: It is essential that we keep a legitimate big picture perspective while we are dealing with the confusion of the details of daily living.
Introduction: As we began our look at the words of God through Zacharias, we noted that the major foundation is that God has spoken in absolute, concrete, infallible, prophetic words. We saw that this foundation is laid to accomplish one intermediate purpose: to get people on the Road of Peace. We noted that being on the Road of Peace signals just how crucial our behavior is to God. The Road of Peace is a Highway where men "walk"; the metaphor is of a spiritual condition that directs the behavior that is symbolized by the steps men take. Men use God's dismissal of their behavior as a foundation of salvation as an excuse to dismiss behavior as a significant issue of life (so that they may do as they please and retain hope of going to Heaven when they die), but God uses His dismissal of their behavior as the foundation for salvation so that His dismissal may become the foundation for altering their behavior so that it may legitimately contribute to life. No one in his right mind can argue that what is done has no impact on what is experienced. The critical issue is not whether one's works have an impact on his experience of life; the critical issue is how one's works are turned from being "destructive of life" to "contributory to life". Paul pointed this out in Galatians 6 where he taught that because it is impossible that our works do not impact our experience of life, we desperately need to walk in the Spirit so that the works may impart the experience of eternal life as an experience of on-going joy. This morning we are going to continue to consider the words of God through Zacharias in respect to the impact of God's activity in raising up a horn of salvation in the house of David. We are going to see that God considers our "overall perspective" to be crucial to our proper understanding of the minutia of daily living for one reason...our understanding has a direct bearing upon whether we experience His life or our death.
September 12, 2004
- I. The Meaning of "a Horn of Salvation".
- A. The meaning is generally presented in Deuteronomy 33:17; Numbers 23:22; and Numbers 24:8.
- 1. The picture is of the "herd bull" who is deadly in conflict against the enemies of the herd.
- 2. The definitive linkage is to Joseph.
- a. This gave rise to the "Messiah ben Joseph" theological construct of great deliverance through great suffering.
- b. But Zacharias does not have "Joseph" in mind, because the "horn" is in the house of David, the son of Judah.
- B. The meaning is clearly illustrated in 1 Kings 1:50 and context.
- 1. The altar had a horn on each of its four corners to project the sense of security based upon the efficacy of the sacrifices laid upon it.
- a. The imagery is profound: the only place of security is the place of sacrifice.
- b. The level of security is very high since there is a horn on every corner.
- 2. The clinging to the horns signified the terror of what the actions could easily bring to pass and the hope that the "horns" would provide protection.
- C. The meaning is thus clear: Yahweh, the Executor of Power for the one who seeks to be blessed, has caused the powerful horn of deliverance to be "raised up".
- 1. Two observations are necessary:
- a. The "horn of deliverance" does not belong to the one being delivered.
- b. There will be no deliverance by the horn if the one seeking deliverance is not willing to move into the place of security that exists only under the dominion of the Protector.
- 2. One fact needs to be clear: the "deliverance" of the horn is currently "hope", not historical reality.
- II. The Significance of the "Horn" in the "House of David".
- A. It is in the "house" of the one who is "beloved of God".
- 1. It is in the "house" of "His servant/child"...the word translated "servant" is often translated "child" (a variation of the word is used in 1:76 to refer to John) and the point is not "physical relationship" but "emotional relationship" (the "child" is "beloved" whether he is a physical son or a household servant).
- 2. The name "David" may well be etymologically tied to a Hebrew word that is typically used of the love that is expressed in the marriage bed.
- a. It is significant that "David" wrote many psalms that bring men's soul's to the same kind of joy to which sex brings men's bodies.
- b. It is also significant that the greatest failure of the man named "David" had to do with his lust for the pleasure of the body instead of the soul.
- c. It is highly significant that when men trade the joy of the soul for the pleasure of the body, the destruction is enormous and the "horns of deliverance" are rendered ineffective.
- 3. The reference to the "house" is a direct reference to the 2 Samuel 7 concept of a regnal dynasty.
- a. By this we know that Zacharias was speaking of the "deliverance" that the prophesied King in the lineage of David was going to bring.
- 1) A deliverance that consisted in part of establishing justice within the Kingdom so that all evil doers would be removed so that they could not act in contradiction to the requirements of life.
- 2) A deliverance that consisted in part of establishing security from forces without the Kingdom so that no adversaries could enter within and act in contradiction to the requirements of life.
- b. By this we also know that the issue here is "hope", not "present reality".
- 1) The horn from the house of David was centuries away from the ultimate realization of His regnal dominion over the Kingdom.
- 2) The proclamation of the "horn" for those that hear of it is not wasted except for those who, because of impatience and selfishness, refuse to take their place in the herd of the Bull Who wields the horns.
- B. It is according to the absolute, concrete, infallible, prophetic words of God.
- 1. The words were given 1,000 years before Jesus was conceived as the Ransom Payment.
- 2. The words were given at least 3,000 years before Jesus will come as the Horn of Salvation.
- 3. The point is made: the passing of long years of time does nothing to diminish the integrity of the words and the actual experience of those who live during those long years is determined by whether the "hope" of the words is the dominant perspective for the details of the minutia of our days.
- a. When our hearts grow "restive" because our longings are being denied for the present, we are in the greatest danger of losing our way.
- b. When our hearts are "fixed" because our willingness is to submit to the dominion of Him Who wields the horn, we are on the Road of Peace and our behavior is conducive to life [the email that decries "my sins" while expressing "my dissatisfactions and disbelief" reveals the reality that it is only by being at peace that my behavior can be peaceful].