‘And I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day,’ Zechariah 3:9.
The title for this post is from an old chorus we used to sing in Sunday School:
“Gone, gone, gone, gone.
Yes, my sins are gone.
Now my soul is free,
And in my heart’s a song;
Buried in the deepest sea,
Yes, that’s good enough for me-
I shall live eternally.
Praise God, my sins are
G – O – N – E –
– Helen Griggs
I did have to look it up to be certain of all the words. It’s been more than a few years….
We’ve been studying a little in the book of Zechariah. Remember, the Jews had just spent 70 years in captivity, foreigners had been brought in to replace them in the land of Israel, and even though Israel had been allowed to return to the land, they were having a difficult time rebuilding. This was especially true when it came to rebuilding the Temple. There was a whole life to rebuild and the people were more concerned with their own houses than with the Lord’s house. Beside all this, there was a lot of opposition from the current residents of the land, residents who were not in favor of the rebuilding, to put it mildly.
Zechariah’s Israel had gone into captivity because of her sins – and will yet again, if I read Scripture correctly, go into captivity for her sins, not the least of which was the rejection of her Messiah when He came. To this day, they still do not recognize Him.
One day, they will, and it is then that the promise will come to pass, “And I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.
Zechariah has much more to say about this, as we’ll see, Lord willing, in later studies.
However, verse 9 above is not the only promise of Israel’s redemption from her sins and reconciliation to her God. Scripture is filled with such promises.
“Rejoice, O Gentiles. with His people:
For He will avenge the blood of His servants,
And render vengeance to His adversaries”
He will provide atonement for His land and His people.”
1 Chronicles 17:9,
Moreover I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own and move no more; nor shall the sons of wickedness oppress them anymore….
“At the same time,” says the LORD, “I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be My people.”
Jeremiah 31:8, 9,
Behold, I will bring them from the north country,
And gather them from the ends of the earth,
Among them the blind and the lame,
The woman with child
And the one who labors with child, together;
A great throng shall return there.
They shall come with weeping,”
And with supplications I will lead them.
I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters,
In a straight way in which they shall not stumble;
For I am a Father to Israel,
And Ephraim is My firstborn.
“Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah – not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more,”
I will cleanse them from all their iniquity by which they have sinned against Me, and I will pardon all their iniquities by which they have sinned and by which they have transgressed against Me.
I will scatter you among the nations, disperse you throughout the countries, and remove your filth completely from you.
“Thus says the LORD:
“I will return to Zion,
And dwell in the midst of Jerusalem.
Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth,
The Mountain of the LORD of hosts,
The Holy Mountain.’
Zechariah 8:22, 23,
Yes, many peoples and strong nations
Shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem,
And to pray before the LORD.’
“Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you,” ‘ “
For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:
“The Deliverer will come out of Zion,
And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
For this is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins.”
This is just a sampling of verses. Jeremiah and Ezekiel are filled with such promises, to say nothing of Isaiah and the Minor Prophets.
Even though the Psalmist may not have known most of these exact verses, we believe he knew something of their promise. This is why he wrote in Psalm 122:6, Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
Even if he was just thinking of the city of his day, it’s still a valid request. To pray for her peace is ultimately to pray for the return of the One who will bring peace to her, and to this sin-cursed and troubled world.
Here is another of his heart-longings:
Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion, Psalm 14:7.
Even the New Testament closes with the request for His return:
Even so, come, Lord Jesus! Revelation 22:20.