Advent Devotion – December 15 – Barbara Howell

Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem!

Zechariah 9:9-10

Scripture: Zechariah 9:9-10

These words from Zechariah foretelling the coming of the king of Israel are wonderfully sung in Handel’s Messiah. For many of us, hearing the Messiah is one of the highlights of the Christmas season. The libretto was written for Handel’s Messiah by his friend, Charles Jennens, in 1742 and was based upon texts from the King James Version. In Zechariah 9:9, the prophet instructs the people to rejoice! He then tells them that the king is coming, he is a righteous

Savior, and he shall speak peace to the heathen. Handel’s music and Jennens’ lyrics express all of Zechariah’s words in this beautiful aria.

Zechariah tells the Israelites that this new king will deal with their enemies and command peace to the nations. He will fulfill God’s promises to the Israelites. He will come with humility and gentleness. This is certainly a reason to rejoice.

The Old Testament prophets were filled with joy when God’s plans and promises were revealed to them. The Psalms tell of a joy that comes from knowing God. “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises” (Psalm 98:4).

So together, let us all “rejoice and be glad,” confident that our reward will be great in heaven (Matthew 5:12).

Barbara Howell

Core idea: Rejoice in the Lord always.

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