Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, and to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles. If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, they will have no rain. If the Egyptian people do not go up and take part, they will have no rain. The LORD will bring on them the plague he inflicts on the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles. This will be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles.
On that day HOLY TO THE LORD will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, and the cooking pots in the LORD’s house will be like the sacred bowls in front of the altar. Every pot in Jerusalem and Judah will be holy to the LORD Almighty, and all who come to sacrifice will take some of the pots and cook in them. And on that day there will no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the LORD Almighty. – Zechariah 14:16-21
It is sometimes said that holiness means being set apart. This is only partially correct. If you were to take a penny out of a stack of change and place it two feet away on the table – it would not suddenly be described as “holy” even though it had been set apart. Biblically speaking, to be holy is to be set apart as belonging to God. This why Christians are called “saints” throughout the epistles of the New Testament. Being a saint does not have to do with living an unusually pure life. Christians are saints because we have been set apart as belonging to God. When we consider the ending of Zechariah we are confronted with this startling fact: even the bells on the horses will bear the inscription “Holy to the LORD”. The idea being conveyed by such an insignificant object bearing this inscription is that everything will be dedicated to the LORD in that day. Those of us who are looking in faith for this day ought to pay attention to the very last sentence in the book: “And there shall no longer be a trader in the house of the Lord of hosts on that day.” From the time of Zechariah, to the time of Christ, to our own day, the church has been plagued by those wish to make merchandise of religion. In the broader evangelical world, some religious entrepreneurs have become celebrities (in some cases they have become rather affluent celebrities). We must resist our natural inclination to be impressed by size or dramatic growth and ask whether or not a “ministry” is actually functioning for the glory of God. Critically, we must start by asking this question about ourselves.
MEMORY WORK – Shorter Catechism Q/A 105
Q. 105. What do we pray for in the fifth petition?
A. In the fifth petition, which is, And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors, we pray that God, for Christ’s sake, would freely pardon all our sins; which we are the rather encouraged to ask, because by his grace we are enabled from the heart to forgive others.