And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.…
In the preceding verses God declares what He will do in the way of defending His Church. In the text He declares what He will do in the way of reviving and humbling and purifying His Church.
I. THE PROMISE. The Divine purpose in giving a promise is, that we may be led to ask for its fulfilment. The promise is, the Holy Spirit personally, and in His offices in the economy of grace and salvation. The promise of the Spirit is co-extensive with the earlier promise of Christ. What Christ was for purchasing, the Spirit is for applying — salvation. All other promises resolve themselves into this one — the Holy Spirit — as they did in Christ. In this instance the Spirit is not promised generally, but in certain of His offices or operations. He is promised —
1. As a Spirit of grace. By grace we under. stand those combined excellencies which go to form a perfect moral character. The Spirit of grace is the Spirit originating, nurturing, and maturing these. To have the Spirit of grace is to have the Holy Ghost producing these in us — grace itself.
2. As a Spirit of supplications. Supplications and prayers are the immediate fruit of the Holy Spirit. He leads, or shows, the way to the Divine throne. Reveals the blessings of grace. Implants the eager desire. Gives prevailing strength to faith. Causes unwearying importunity. As the author of prayer, the Spirit is here promised. Prayer is a proof of the Spirit's presence the want of prayer is His absence. The promise of the Spirit was originally made and fulfilled to Christ Himself. Through Him it belongs to all His people. This promise was fulfilled at Pentecost. It is still on record, and its fulfiment is also on record. Why is His presence not felt and recognised? He has moved on congregations of late, and still, occasionally, individuals feel His quickening power. But the instances are few. Let us plead with God for His Spirit's presence.
II. THE EFFECTS WHICH FLOW FROM THE OUTPOURING OF THE SPIRIT. It follows necessarily from the terms of the promise that grace and prayer will follow upon the fulfilment of this promise. But the text particularly describes certain results of the Spirit's presence which call for special attention.
1. Those on whom He descends shall look on Christ. It is the office of the Spirit to glorify Christ, as it was Christ's to glorify the Father. The Spirit makes the heart and eyes to turn to Christ, as the flower to the sun. The attention is then riveted on Christ.
2. It is on a pierced Saviour that the Spirit-anointed sinner looks. His body pierced with the scourge, thorns, nails, and spear. His heart pierced with many sorrows. His soul pierced with the arrows of the Almighty, which drank up His Spirit. His reputation pierced by calumny. His humanity pierced with the mortal shaft of death.
3. He on whom the Spirit rests looks on Christ as pierced by himself. His sins pierced Him in all these senses. He was represented by Christ's crucifiers. He has, by his conduct, crucified Him afresh, and put Him to an open shame. He has pierced Him in His people and cause.
4. When the Spirit has shown to a man Christ pierced by his sins, that man mourns. The sight of Christ pierced gives him a new view of sin. Each sin has been an arrow shot at God, and has penetrated the heart of Christ. This sight involves a new view of Christ's love — mercy — compassion. He sees what kind of Redeemer he has been thus treating. The sight of Christ pierced gives him a sense of pardon. His sins met their punishment in Christ. A pardoned sinner mourns. Lessons —
1. The sympathy of the Spirit with the Son. He reveals Him pierced, and produces mourning.
2. Seek the Spirit as here described.
3. Try yourselves by these fruits of His presence.
Parallel VersesKJV: And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.