In that day shall there be on the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD…
Zechariah describes, in the last chapters of his book, great troubles coming on the world. All the world gathered round about Jerusalem to destroy it. The Lord Himself coming down from heaven to deliver the sacred city. There was no thought more pressed upon the mind of the Jew than that of holiness. It was the motto of the national life. The same conception of universal sanctity was carried forward from Judaism to Christianity.
I. THE HIGHEST STATE OF MAN, THE MOST BLESSED CONDITION OF THE WORLD, IS HERE SET BEFORE US. The first meaning of holiness is separation. Separation looks two ways, to the past and to the future. There is something from which we are separated, and something to which we are separated. When we think of holiness practically, in respect to our present life, we are apt to regard it as representing an unattainable height. Holiness is absolute purity. Sanctification is ever represented in Scripture as though it were equivalent with a positive perfection already attained in this life. Holiness describes, not a realised height of nature or life, but a law or condition of life, — a process, a growth, springing out of faith, going on with us to our eternal future. Holiness is consecration.
II. THIS DIVINE IDEA OF HOLINESS IS UNIVERSALLY APPLICABLE. There is nothing which cannot be consecrated. The first thing in true consecration is the act of the inner self. We have none of us altogether conquered our old selfishness: we battle with it still. But holiness is the renunciation of all for Christ. And we have all an outside life to bring under this law of entire surrender. Holiness is not the condition of human nature, left to itself, it is the gift of God. There is a spurious holiness into which we are invited. Outside sanctities will never quicken the soul into new life.
(R. A. Redford, LL. B. , M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the LORD'S house shall be like the bowls before the altar.