Photo credit to Psyche Angelik Mendoza Villacillo-Zuhura.
“And many nations shall join themselves to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people. And I will dwell in your midst, and you shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you.” Zechariah 2:11
Imagine being able to see things and hear things like Zechariah got to see and hear! Here is Zechariah talking to an angel. He’s asking him questions like it is an ordinary thing. “Where are you going?” And the angel answers. But then this other angel comes along and the first angel goes forward to meet him. And this second angel actually commands the first angel concerning what to tell the young man, Zechariah. This second angel therefore, has authority over the first angel and over Zechariah. The interesting thing is that this second angel starts talking in the first person. And the statements end in “declares the LORD.” Was Zechariah hearing and seeing the Angel of the Lord? Was he seeing and hearing from the reincarnate Jesus? And if so, was Jesus on mission with God from the start not only for returning Israel to Himself as His own possession, His own people, but was their heart for bringing the nations back to themselves and making them His people again? Did You intend to dwell in the midst of a host of people from all nations?
Things aren’t always good for the other nations, but neither are they always good for Israel, the apple of Your eye. Why is that? Because sometimes, Israel forgets who she is and who created her and who she owes her everything to. I mean, after all, Israel was once a Chaldean straight from Ur. Israel wasn’t Israel to start with. Israel was just some guy named Abram who lived in Ur and grew up like the people of Ur. But one day, I guess he started to listen and look at the evidence of God, and since You look “to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show [Yourself] strong in the behalf of them whose heart is whole toward [You],” (2 Chronicles 16:9) Your eyes caught Abram. It’s interesting, but that word whole or perfect or blameless can also mean friendly. I want to think about that. I want to think about the fact that You are looking for people who want to draw near to You as a friend, people who are leaning toward getting to know You.
So here is this guy, Abram, who starts thinking about You and wanting to think about You more and You show up. And You invite him to go where You tell him, to a land he’s never known. And he does. You tell him “Get out of your country, and from your kindred, and from your father’s house, to a land I will show you: and I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless you, and curse him that curses you: and in you shall all families of the earth be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1) So Abram went. Abram, that former Chaldean from Ur. He left, Abram of Ur. But God, You didn’t just give him a great name, You gave him a new name in You. He went from being Abram of Ur to being Abraham, Friend of God ( James 2:23) and child of God. Maybe it is really God’s desire that we draw near to Him as friends.
Abraham and the descendants of promise became the apple of Your eye, Lord. What does it mean to be the apple of Your eye, Lord? Figuratively, it means “something or someone cherished above others.” “Little Man of the Eye” is the literal Hebrew translation referencing the “tiny reflection of yourself you can see in other people’s pupils.” That makes sense, considering You created us to bear Your image, to live in Your likeness. You ought to look in our eyes and see Yourself reflected there and in our lives, shouldn’t You? But if we go farther, we see the actual Hebrew definition is “pupil of the eye.” What can that mean? I suppose, a lot.
The pupil is very important. It’s where all vision enters our eye and is filtered to our brains. It’s that little whole through which we get to make visual sense of the world around us. It’s a sensitive little thing. It’s sensitive to eyedrops and contacts when we first try to put them in because it thinks that maybe we are going to damage it. So our eyelids work in conjunction to offer protection of our pupil. They do everything they can automatically to protect our pupil. God wants to protect us like that. He won’t endure something trying to damage us just like our eyelids won’t endure letting someone thrust a finger into our eye. Well, that’s great. So God protected Abram like that because He valued him that much. And when someone values you that much, you know what? You start to value them that much. You start to protect them and their name out of love back for them. Maybe Abram didn’t do that always as well as he should have, but he was in the process of learning and so are we.
Every one who You have created is precious to You but we become personally precious as we respond back to You. In Deuteronomy 32 Abram is referred back to through Jacob and Israel and the idea continues. “He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; He led him about, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye. As an eagle stirs up her nest, flutters over her young, spreads abroad her wings, takes them, bears them on her wings: so the Lord alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him.”
David understood the idea of being the apple of Your eye. It was more than an idea. It was a truth; a relationship. “My steps have held fast to your paths; my feet have not slipped. I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; incline your ear to me; hear my words. Wondrously show your steadfast love, O Savior of those who seek refuge from their adversaries at your right hand. Keep me as the apple of Your eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings…” (Psalm 17:5-8)
Solomon tried to share this truth with his children. “My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with you. Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of your eye. Bind them upon your fingers, write them upon the table of your heart.” (Proverbs 7:1-3) These weren’t just Solomon’s commands and ways. These were Your ways, God, that had become Solomon’s ways. The truth is that You ought to be just as much the apple of my eye as I am the apple of Yours. You should be just as precious to me as I am to You.
And now we come back to Zechariah. For Your glory, the glory of God, You send judgment upon us as correction. Why? Because we forget that the beauty of the name that You make for us isn’t our own. The beauty of the name that You gave Abram wasn’t Abraham. The beauty and power of the name that You gave Him was Your name. He was identified in You and by You. His name was the seal of Your promise. His name told about You. And it’s the same with my name. It’s not about me but it includes me. You invite us to make Your name known through us and through our lives and the way You glorify Yourself through us, the apples of Your eye. So You corrected Israel, and then would correct the nations that oppressed them. But so to, just like Abram came out of Ur, out of that foreign nation and befriended You, so too You will call people like me, and others out of their nations to be the apple of Your eye and so that You would become the apple of our eye.
From the beginning of time as we know it, You invested a part of Yourself in mankind when You breathed the breath of life into him. It must be painful when a person decides to deny that connection with You. I mean, You created every one to be the apple of Your eye, yet some will not see and some will choose not to see. It’s true, “Where there is no vision, the people perish…” (Proverbs 29:18) What if what we need to see is that we really are and were created to be the apple of Your eye? What if that means that we were created to be a part of You as much as the pupil is a part of the eye. “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation” right? Well, what if it’s like being the pupil in Your eye? What if You put me right there in You, where the “light’ enters and exits You? What if You are doing everything in Your power, which is beyond every power, to make sure that the light enters us and exits us like it does You. And I can’t experience that without being united with You. I have to be a part of Your body. Your vision has to be my vision or else I perish. But I can’t perish in You. And in You, I am protected. And in You, even when I reciprocate and make You the apple of my eye, I’m still there in Yours, only now it’s even better because we are both in total agreement and seeing together because of You.
Yes, here’s the good news to Zechariah. “And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day…” Think about it. It’s happening. It’s been happening. And it will happen till Jesus comes again. People of every nation are being intwined with the Lord. He is intwining Himself with us, He holds us that dear. His glory is so important that His love is so deep. He takes a people, like Abram, who became not His people, and makes them His people again. He takes a people who could not live in His presence because of sin, and makes them able to dwell with Him right in the center. It’s like he splits us in half and there He is, right in middle of us, right in the middle of me. And there won’t be any doubt in our minds that God has sent Him to us. We will know and experience the truth of God with us in Jesus Christ.
Be ready, O Israel, for Jesus to do a mighty work in You to be the apple of His eye. Be ready, O you of the nations, for Jesus to do a mighty work in You to be the apple of His eye. Be ready to be brethren united and intwined in Him, the Apple of Our Eye. May You always be the apple of my eye and never let me forget that I am the apple of Yours.