Deliver yourself, O Zion, that dwell with the daughter of Babylon.
Zechariah prophesied at Jerusalem after the return of the Jews from their captivity in Babylon; and one great object of his ministry was to stir them up to a more lively sense of the peculiar duties and privileges which their deliverance brought with it. In the text he is addressing that part of the nation which were still remaining in the land of Chaldea. As their dispersion had been the effect of God's righteous displeasure, so the way now opened for their return was no less clearly an evidence of His returning mercy and favour. But many were unwilling to return; the real cause of their so deciding was their indifference to religion, their distrust of God's Word, and their backwardness to obey Him and to show themselves His servants. To them came the admonition of the text. Can we make application of this passage to present times, and point out its spiritual sense? The world is now, to Christians, what Babylon was then to the Jews. By the world, is meant this world, in respect to its moral state; to its habits, maxims, and practices; to its principles, fashions, and ways: the world as it is now corrupted through the depravity of man. By Christians is meant all who are so called; all who, by name and profession, are Christians. They are born and grow up in the midst of the world's sin and iniquity. From their earliest infancy they are surrounded by its examples, exposed to its allurements, and made familiar with its practices. What they are taught to admire and covet most, are the things of the world. But they belong, not to the world, but to Christ. They are professedly the subjects of that spiritual kingdom which Christ has established in the world. They cannot possess and enjoy their privileges while living in the world. The Jews must return home to Judea before they could rejoice as Jews. And what must Christians do, if they would rejoice as Christians? They must arise, and turning their backs on the world, must comply with the proclamation of the Gospel. "Come out and be separate." It is one part of the salvation of the Gospel, that it "delivers us from this present evil world." If persons would sincerely come to Christ for deliverance, He would surely set them free. The persons with whom we would plead are those who, under the garb of a Christian profession, manifestly retain a worldly spirit, and by their conformity to the fashions and follies of the world, betray its influence over their hearts. Consider —
1. The inconsistency of such a state with your profession of Christianity.
2. The shamefulness of it.
3. The danger of your present state. If you walk not as a Christian now, you will never be owned as a Christian at last.
4. The happiness which will result from complying with the admonition in the text.
Parallel VersesKJV: Deliver thyself, O Zion, that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon.