The cane & the salve
Week 17: 19/04/2023. Wed
Understanding the LORD fully entails being familiar with this tension—His cane and His salve.
The cane refers to the necessity of attending to the sins in the lives of His people. We have seen this in the previous chapters. On the other hand, a salve refers to some ointment or concoction used to relieve pain and suffering, especially for healing of the skin.
Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. (ESV)
Zechariah points to a reason for rejoicing—their King will come and He would cause people to rejoice. Secondly, the rejoicing relates to His righteousness and the salvation that He would bring. Thirdly, His character of humility and non-use of the traditional weapons of cavalry point to the serenity and power of His rule.
Indeed, "... he shall speak peace to the nations..." (9:10b). Not only did this King use a donkey (instead of a war horse), He was mounted on a colt, foal (young) of a donkey. Consequently, this King's coming would bring meaning and honour to His people. This King wins not because of brute force or cunning political manipulation, but of persuasive power that comes from a true non-fake identity.
Application: We learn the lesson from God's cane. We also take comfort in His salve that not only relieves pain, but also truly healing the sinful that truly repents and embraces the King.