A History of Advent in 25 People-19


I wonder if you would have included Zerubbabel in a list of people having a significant place in the History of Advent.

We find him first in 1 Chronicles 3.19 where he is listed as a descendant of David, which should excite our Advent antennae!

 He is then active in the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah as the exiles return to Judah and Jerusalem and set about rebuilding the broken down walls and the Temple.

He is again prominent in the Prophecy of Haggai mentioned no fewer than eight times along with Joshua the High Priest. He receives four mentions in the Book of Zechariah and is listed in both Matthew’s and Luke’s genealogies of Jesus.

In the light of this I think it is fair to say that he is a significant character in our Advent History.

Time and space do not permit a detailed study of this man of God and indeed we are not told a huge amount about him but what we are told is of great significance.

That he was of David’s line

That he returned from the exile with his faith and service undimmed

That he was instrumental in the rebuilding of the Temple symbolising  God’s presence at the centre of national life following the exile and finally, for this brief biographical survey, his being made a ‘signet ring’. Haggai 2.20-23

The word of the Lord came a second time to Haggai on the twenty-fourth day of the month, “Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, I am about to shake the heavens and the earth, and to overthrow the throne of kingdoms. I am about to destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the nations, and overthrow the chariots and their riders. And the horses and their riders shall go down, every one by the sword of his brother. On that day, declares the Lord of hosts, I will take you, O Zerubbabel my servant, the son of Shealtiel, declares the Lord, and make you like a signet ring, for I have chosen you, declares the Lord of hosts.”

A signet ring. A sign of authority. A sign that in spite of the exile, God’s plans and purposes are on course, particularly significant as the 400 years in which there was no prophetic word from the LORD are soon to commence.

Combine this role of signet ring with almost the last word from God before the 400 years

“Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap.He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.

Malachi 3.1-4

and the coming of the incarnate Son of God is certain.

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