Reading: Zechariah 14
By Pastor Alex
"In that day there will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, 'HOLY TO THE LORD.' And the cooking pots in the LORD's house will be like the bowls before the altar. Every cooking pot in Jerusalem and in Judah will be holy to the LORD of hosts; and all who sacrifice will come and take of them and boil in them. And there will no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts in that day."
- Zechariah 14:20-21
At first glance, these two verses that conclude Zechariah's prophetic book may appear to be nothing more than specific and somewhat irrelevant details about temple worship in Israel. Looking more deeply, however, this is a profound statement for us today.
The prophet spoke by the Holy Spirit of a day when every aspect of life and existence would be consumed by the holiness of God. For the people of Israel, there was a very clear delineation between the holy and the commonplace. This all had to do with worship and sacrifice and focused around the physical temple in Jerusalem. Even within the temple, the bowls used on the altar were considered more holy than, for instance, the cooking pots used in the temple kitchen. In this context, Zechariah says, "The pots in the Lord's house shall be like the bowls before the altar." In other words, the things considered less holy will be just as devoted and useful to God as the things considered the center of our worship. Now here is a challenge for us... Imagine a time and a day in which the fellowship meal following the church service was just as holy and worshipful as the service itself! Imagine our conversation at that meal being just as Christ-exalting and other-worldly as the sermon we heard. You can't force that kind of holiness. That requires fully self-surrendered people whose love for God is permeating every part of their lives.
What's this about horses bells? In Israel, horses did not have any role in the worship of God. They were used in war or for general pomp on momentous occasions. But God says that the same inscription for the priests' service will be on the horse bells on that day. Not only that but, "Every cooking pot in Jerusalem and Judah will be holy the the Lord of hosts." This refers to cooking pots in people's houses which are considered completely common and have no status of "holy." Yet, God says all these things are utterly changed. Holiness is no longer relegated to a specific location and function; those who are self-surrendered to the Lord are holy, and suddenly their daily life becomes holy as well.
When Jesus brings a new heaven and a new earth and brings the fullness of His kingdom to reign, the ordinary and the commonplace will all be swallowed up in the beauty of holiness. Every breath we take will be just as much worship to God as our songs of praise to Him. "They will see His face, and His name will be written on their foreheads" (Rev. 22:4). We ought to hope in this day, but Jesus also said the kingdom of God is at hand. He came proclaiming and bringing God's kingdom already, though not complete. We belong to God and are holy to the Lord, and so is every part of our lives. The kingdom of God is not a location or a function we perform, but it comes to make every aspect of our lives "holy to the LORD."