Zechariah 9:9-10 (NKJV)
9 “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey. 10 I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim And the horse from Jerusalem; The battle bow shall be cut off. He shall speak peace to the nations; His dominion shall be ‘from sea to sea, And from the River to the ends of the earth.’
Last week we began to consider the lessons which young women teach us. The first thing we learn from young women is a matter of identity: the Church collectively is called the daughter of Zion, the daughter of Jerusalem. This title reminds us that we are near to God’s heart – the special object of His affection, protection, and provision. Even as a Father delights over his precious daughter, so the Lord delights over His people. So, young women, learn from the Lord’s decision to call His people His daughter how precious and valued you are.
Today I would like us to note that our text also teaches you young women about your identity. Who are you? This is a question which we all ask others and which we all want to know about ourselves. Who am I? There are, of course, numerous answers to this question. I am the child of certain parents, belonging to a particular father and mother either by birth or by adoption. I am the resident of a specific geographical area – perhaps a city, a county, a state or more than one of these simultaneously. I am a citizen of a particular country. But of all these identities, the identities that shape us and make us who we are, the most central and important is the one mentioned in our text today: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!” Young women, when you think about yourself, when you ask yourself, “Who am I?” the first answer that God wants to come to your lips is, “I am a daughter of Zion – in other words, I belong to Zion, to Jerusalem, to the Church. I am a Christian.”
Throughout the psalms and prophets, it is this language that is used frequently to identify young women. “Let Mount Zion rejoice, Let the daughters of Judah be glad…” (Ps 48:11). “Zion hears and is glad, And the daughters of Judah rejoice because of Your judgments, O Lord” (Ps 97:8). “I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem. Do not stir up nor awaken love until it pleases” (Song 8:4). And even our Lord Jesus used this language, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children” (Lk 23:28).
Young women, God claims you as His own, claims you as His daughters. In the waters of baptism, He has identified you as members of His own people, as His special possession, separated out from the rest of the females in the world and devoted unto Him. You are daughters of Zion, daughters of Jerusalem, daughters of Judah, daughters of the Church.
So here’s the challenge that comes in the wake of that identity: because you are daughters of Zion, daughters of Jerusalem, the Lord summons you to act like it. You are a daughter of Zion; be a daughter of Zion. Why are you consumed with looking like the daughters of Philistia? Why are you enamored with the skimpy clothing of Pharaoh’s concubines? Why bedazzled by the glitzy glamor of Jezebel’s shrine prostitutes? Those aren’t your people, God declares to you, don’t act like they are. Be a daughter of Zion, act like your mothers in the faith – like Sarah, like Tamar, like Deborah, like Ruth, like Elizabeth, like Mary.
Reminded that we all are tempted to act like something we are not, to allow others to define who we are rather than God Himself, let us kneel and let us confess our sins to God.