Sermon #55 Zechariah Series
Title: The Corner, the Nail,
The Battle Bow and the Oppressor
Text: Zechariah 10:4
Subject: Christ Our Safety and Shield
Date: Sunday Morning — May 13, 2007
Reading: 2 Samuel 22:1-51
Tape # Zechariah #55
Blessed is that poor, weak sinner in this world of woe who can lift his heart and sing with David, — “The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence” (2 Samuel 22:2-3). — “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him” (Psalms 28:7). — “Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word” (Psalms 119:114). — “My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me” (Psalms 144:2). Blessed are they who have Christ as their Shield.
In Zechariah 10:4 the Lord God tells us that his saving grace is sure, describing our Lord Jesus Christ as that One who came forth out of Judah to save his people from their sins. He has made himself our Safety and our Shield, our Rock and our Fortress, our High Tower and our Refuge, our Hope and our Hiding Place.
(Zechariah 10:4) “Out of him came forth the corner, out of him the nail, out of him the battle bow, out of him every oppressor together.”
Out of Judah
The phrase “out of him” refers back to the house of Judah in verse 3. — “The Lord of hosts hath visited his flock the house of Judah, and hath made them his goodly horse in the battle.” Judah had been ruled for many years by her enemies. She had been oppressed, not so much by her Babylonian captors, as by her false shepherds. But when the Lord of hosts brought Judah out of Babylon and established his kingdom again in Zion, he brought forth from Judah itself the Prince Zerubbabel (Called Sheshbazzar — Ezra 1:8-11) to rule over them and build his house.
As you know, Zerubbabel was raised up by God as a type of our Lord Jesus Christ. His deliverance of Judah and his building of the temple were but pictures of our Savior’s great work, of which the Book of Zechariah is a prophecy. You will remember that in Ezra 4:1-6 — “When the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity builded the temple unto the LORD God of Israel; Then they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chief of the fathers, and said unto them, Let us build with you: for we seek your God, as ye do; and we do sacrifice unto him.” — But Zerubbabel, refused their help, saying, “Ye have nothing to do with us to build an house unto our God; but we ourselves together will build unto the LORD God of Israel.” When he refused their help, they were enraged and did everything they could to stop the work, even hiring “counsellors against them to frustrate their purpose.” But the opposition of all his foes could not prevent Zerubbabel’s work (Zechariah 4:6-9).
(Zechariah 4:6-9) Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. (7) Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it. (8) Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, (9) The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you.
But the Deliverer spoken of here (Zechariah 10:4) is not Zerubbabel. This great Deliverer, who was portrayed by Zerubbabel, is our great Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who came from the house of Judah. The Scriptures identify him as the all-prevailing, ever prevailing Lion of the tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5; Genesis 49:10).
(Genesis 49:8-12) Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s children shall bow down before thee. (9) Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? (10) The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. (11) Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass’s colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes: (12) His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.
(Revelation 5:5-10) And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. (6) And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. (7) And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. (8) And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. (9) And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; (10) And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
As if to make certain that we do not fail to understand that this passage is a prophecy of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit tells us plainly that he was born in Bethlehem of Judah (Matthew 2:1; Micah 5:2). And the Spirit of God asserts in Hebrews 7:14, — “It is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda.”
Now, let’s see what Zechariah 10:4 tells us about the Lord Jesus Christ, our great Deliverer.
(Zechariah 10:4) Out of him came forth the corner, out of him the nail, out of him the battle bow, out of him every oppressor together.
Here Zechariah sets before us three portraits of our Savior’s character that are commonly used in the Old Testament Scriptures to describe his person and work as our Redeemer and Savior: (1.) The Corner, (2.) The Nail, and (3.) The Battle Bow. Then he tells us a fourth thing. And this fourth thing seems to be rather unusual. He declares, “out of him” (our mighty Judah who rules over all) comes “every oppressor.” I want to talk to you about these four things.
First, our Lord Jesus Christ is called “The Corner.” Certainly, the Spirit of God here reminds us that our Lord Jesus Christ is the Cornerstone of his Temple, the Church, the Cornerstone of our souls (Psalm 118:22; Isaiah 28:16; Matthew 21:42; Acts 4:12; Romans 9:32-10:4; 1 Corinthians 1:23; 3:11; Ephesians 2:20; 1 Peter 2:5-8).
(Psalms 118:22) “The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.”
(Isaiah 28:16) “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.”
(Acts 4:12) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
(1 Corinthians 3:11) For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
To the unbelieving he is a Stumbling Stone and a Rock of Offense; but for his elect he is the Cornerstone and Foundation Stone upon which we are built.
(Romans 9:31-33) But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. (32) Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; (33) As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
(Romans 10:1-4) Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. (2) For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. (3) For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. (4) For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
(1 Corinthians 1:23) We preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness.
Like Zerubbabel who typified him, the Son of God insists upon doing his work alone. He says to all, “Ye have nothing to do with us to build an house unto our God; but we ourselves together will build unto the LORD God of Israel.” — “Upon this Rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” — At that they are enraged and stumble.
(1 Peter 2:5-8) Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. (6) Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. (7) Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, (8) And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
Blessed be God, the Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ, has come to Zion! He has visited and redeemed his people. He has turned away iniquity from us. He came into the world to save his people from their sins; and he has done it! This is the foundation upon which we are built.
(Ephesians 2:19-22) 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 is a title that well describes our blessed Savior — “The Corner.” The cornerstone is not a mere ornament in a building. The cornerstone is that upon which the whole building depends. The cornerstone is the strength and support of the building. As the cornerstone is the principal foundation of a building and gives stability to its adjoining walls, Christ is the Cornerstone upon which we rest our souls, by whom we are cemented together as his holy temple. It is Christ the Cornerstone who holds everything together.
And, unlike all other cornerstones, our Lord Jesus Christ is all the Ornament, Luster and Beauty of his Church.
He is “the Corner” the only one there is. Build upon him. Rest upon him. Glorify him. And glory in him.
Second, our Lord Jesus Christ is called “the Nail.” He is “the Nail” upon which we hang our souls (Isaiah 22:23-24; Ecclesiastes 12:11).
(Isaiah 22:23-24) “And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father’s house. (24) And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father’s house, the offspring and the issue, all vessels of small quantity, from the vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of flagons.”
(Ecclesiastes 12:11) “The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.”
· The triune God fixed “the Nail” in a sure place in his eternal covenant (Ephesians 1:3-6). — “The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” — This is the Nail fastened by God in the sure place, in his Word. — This Nail is fastened forever in Heaven itself.
· God hung on him all his purpose of grace, trusting him with the salvation of his people and the glory of his own great name (Ephesians 1:12).
· We hang our souls and all our hope upon this Nail, trusting Christ alone as our Savior (1 Corinthians 1:30-31).
· And, as the Builder of his Tempe, Christ the Nail, bears all the glory of it (Zechariah 6:13).
(Zechariah 6:13) Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.
· In a word, everything hangs on the Nail, Christ Jesus, the Nail God has fixed.
I told you a few weeks ago that the Hebrew word translated “Nail” refers to two kinds of nails. One was a tent stake, like those used to hold the tabernacle in place. As John Gill tells us, the Church of God’s elect is the tent and “Christ is the nail to which its cords are fastened, which denotes the stability and security of it.”
The other was a nail or peg driven into the center pole of a tent or the wall of a house. Utensils and valuables were hung on it. As we hang works of art on our walls, in ancient times men would hang jewels and other emblems of wealth on a nail in some conspicuous place in their dwellings, to be admired by all who came in. That is what the triune God has done. He has hung everything on Christ, to let us see and admire the exceeding riches of his grace and glory in him! — All the vessels of the Father’s house hang upon this one nail, Christ Jesus. The Triune God has hung on Christ all the vessels of mercy, all the covenant of grace, all his promises, and all his blessings. God has hung on him all our Salvation. All the glory of his Father’s house hangs on him!
Has God enabled me, by his matchless free grace, to hang all the concerns of my souls for eternity upon the Lord Jesus? Indeed, he has, and I do. I have no other hope. “Christ is All” to me, because he has made himself all to me. How eternally firm and secure all rest, unshaken and unchangeable, upon him! “The Nail” upon which I hang all is — “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever.”
He is Source, Origin, Fountain and Support of all the my salvation. Indeed, he is “all my salvation.” Every purpose of God is founded on Christ. Every promise of God is made, confirmed and fulfilled in Christ. Every dispensation of God’s providence in all the realms of nature, grace and glory, comes from Christ (Romans 11:36).
All things hang on Christ, “the Nail” God has fixed in a sure place. Are we blessed with the graces of his Spirit in life? It is from him that we derive all our spiritual strength, gifts and graces. We depend upon him, and him alone, for life, ability, power and every inclination and disposition to believe him, worship him and serve him. Every inclination and disposition to honor him comes from him. Everything in the house of God and everything in our regenerate souls hangs upon “the Nail.” The whole glory is his! Let us return to him an endless revenue of praise.
“Above all,” Robert Hawker wrote (Poor Man’s Portions — March 21) , “behold the hand of God thy Father, both fixing him there, and proclaiming it to the souls of his people. — ‘I will fasten him,’ saith Jehovah, ‘as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his Father’s house.’ — Hail! thou glorious almighty Mediator! Founded on such authority, and possessing in thyself such eternal principles, evermore will I hang my soul, and body, and spirit, with all I have, and all I am or hope to be, in time and to all eternity, on thee. Never can too great a stress be laid upon Jesus, nor too full a confidence be placed in him. How can a soul perish that hangs on God’s Christ?”
The Battle Bow
Third, the Lord Jesus Christ is “the Battle Bow” by which his Church shall triumph over her enemies in the end (Isaiah 63:1; 2 Corinthians 10:4).
(Isaiah 63:1) “Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.”
(2 Corinthians 10:4) “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.”
It is written, “Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you” (2 Chronicles 20:17). — Christ is the Warrior who has fought and fights all our battles. He is the Captain of the Lord’s hosts (Joshua 5:14-15) and the Captain of our Salvation (Hebrews 2:10), our Man of War (Exodus 15:3). All our armor is from him; and we are armed by him (Ephesians 6:10-18).
(Ephesians 6:10-18) Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. (11) Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (12) For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (13) Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (14) Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; (15) And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; (16) Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. (17) And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: (18) Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.
1. He has wrapped about us the girdle of truth to strengthen our souls.
2. He has put upon us the breastplate of his righteousness as armor for our hearts.
3. He has put on our feet the strong, gripping, boots of the gospel of peace that hold us firm.
4. It is the Son of God, our Savior, supplies us with faith by his Spirit, and enables us, with the shield of faith, “to quench the fiery darts of the wicked.”
5. He has given us the helmet of salvation, which we take from his gracious hands.
6. Christ has given and continually causes us to take for our souls’ defense the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.
7. And it is this same blessed Christ, “the Battle Bow,” our great Man of War, who puts prayer in our hearts, causing and enabling us to seek his mercy, grace and help in time of need.
Christ “the Battle Bow,” makes us “more than conquerors through him that loved us!”
(Revelation 19:11-16) “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. (12) His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. (13) And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. (14) And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. (15) And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. (16) And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
Now, let’s look at the apparently strange statement at the end of our text — “out of him every oppressor together.” It seems strange, at first glance, to read that “every oppressor” comes from our great Deliverer; but that statement assures us of something that makes the promise of deliverance even sweeter. Zechariah tells us that “every oppressor” comes out of him by whom he shall be conquered.
Yes, even those who oppress and seek to destroy Christ and his Church do nothing but serve his will and pleasure. All are the vassals of our sovereign God and Savior, vassals he uses for his own purpose and glory to the saving of his elect (Psalm 76:10; Isaiah 45:7; Amos 3:6; Psalm 124:1-3; Genesis 50:19-20; Acts 2:23).
(Psalms 76:10) Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.
(Isaiah 45:7) I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
(Amos 3:6) Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?
(Psalms 124:1-3) If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, now may Israel say; (2) If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, when men rose up against us: (3) Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us:
(Genesis 50:19-20) And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? (20) But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
(Acts 2:23) Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
This great Deliverer, the Lord Jesus Christ, is the God we trust, the God and Savior we ought to trust confidently. He is “the Corner” upon whom we are built, “the Nail” fixed in a sure place, and “the Battle Bow” by whom we triumph. And he is the Sovereign God who raises up, uses and overthrows every oppressor for the everlasting salvation of our souls and the eternal praise of his own great name!
With wisdom, pow’r, and skill unknown,
By His own fixed decrees,
From His majestic, sovereign throne,
God rules all things with ease.
God kills and He makes us to live,
According to His will,
And every man and creature shall
His purposes fulfill.
His purposes none can oppose,
His will none can resist;
God is the Master of His foes!
By Him all things subsist!
Astonished with Your greatness, God,
We bow before Your throne;
And we give thanks to know that our
Great God is on His throne!
Jehovah reigns! Rejoice, rejoice,
God sits upon His throne!
With fear and trembling hear His voice,
His purpose shall be done.
In heav’n above God has His way,
And in the earth below:
Both men and demons He will sway
To do His will, I know.
In glorious, sov’reign majesty,
Our God performs His will:
His purpose from eternity,
He must and will fulfill.
An everlasting glorious name,
God for Himself shall have:
Creation shall proclaim His fame
God shall all glory have!
(Isaiah 45:8-12) Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have created it. (9) Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands? (10) Woe unto him that saith unto his father, What begettest thou? or to the woman, What hast thou brought forth? (11) Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me. (12) I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.
(Isaiah 45:16-17) They shall be ashamed, and also confounded, all of them: they shall go to confusion together that are makers of idols. (17) But Israel shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end.
(Isaiah 45:20-25) Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save. (21) Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. (22) Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. (23) I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. (24) Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. (25) In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.
Oh, may God the Holy Spirit enable you to trust our Savior. Build upon “the Corner.” Hang your soul upon “the Nail.” And you shall triumph over every oppressor by “the Battle Bow” God has raised up to save. Trust him! Trust Christ! He is God, and there is none else! He is the just God and our Savior!
Listen to sermons at FreeGraceRadio.com