As the vision which began in 1:7 continues, God speaks an amazing promise of faithfulness to His prophet Zechariah regarding Jews and believing Gentiles alike. As the Jewish nation and its ministry was rebuilding in Jerusalem, the Jewish faithful who were still scattered abroad (“in the north” and “in Babylon”) were told to flee from their oppressors because God was going to punish those oppressors “so that they would become plunder for their slaves”. In that punishment of the oppressors, God promises to dwell in the midst of this rebuilding Jewish nation such that “many nations” (ie grafted in Gentiles, foreshadowing the coming of the Branch Jesus in 3:8, when “neighbors” will be invited to the ministry) will also share in this new work. God’s people (both Jews and Gentiles, vs 2:11) will experience God’s redemptive presence and God “will again choose Jerusalem (Jerusalem as God’s people, not only the locale)” (2:12).
So when, where and how will this happen? As 3:8ff suggests, the fulfillment of this promise begins and happens (when/how) with the ministry of “the Branch” (Messiah). Through the ministry of the Branch and His resurrection, God says “I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day” (3:8). Thus, in the ministry of Jesus Christ (the Branch and Messiah of 3:8), the fulfillment of this promise has been set in motion, is moving now and will be finally and ultimately realized at His second coming. The where will ultimately include Jerusalem but does not appear to be limited only to Jerusalem initially. These verses while telling the people to flee, do not necessarily tell them where to flee other than to the place where God is present. Let’s pray that our fellowship can be on of these prophesied sanctuaries of God, where “I dwell in your midst” as we await the final fulfillment.
God is moving as 2:13 suggests, “Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord, for he is aroused from His holy habitation”…
It is amazing to see how God’s plan of faithful redemption continues to move even now through the pages of History.