Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem…
For the Lord of hosts shall reign.
I. A KINGDOM IS SIMPLY THE REIGN AND RULE OF A WILL. That is the proper meaning of the word "kingdom;" it is the "dom" or rule of a king. There are several ways in which men may be gathered together into ordered communities. The form of the kingdom is the most common. We only in part realize what a kingdom is in our own land and times, because the relation between the will of our sovereign and the people is not direct, but is maintained through a constitution, which involves representative and responsible government. For the scriptural idea of a kingdom we must refer to the kingdoms established in those Eastern climes, where Bible heroes lived and the Bible itself was written. There a kingdom is the rule of one man's will. The judgments, wishes, and commands of one man influence the spirit, conduct, and even choices of a whole people. Properly a kingdom is a number of persons agreeing to accept the will of one of their number as their rule and guide. The kingdom grows out of the family idea; and the family rule is the fatherly will. So the kingdom of God is no merely outward thing; it is the reign of God's will. The subjects of it are precisely those who choose his will, obey him, recognize his kingly rights.
II. IF WE KNOW THE WILL OF GOD, WE KNOW THE SPIRIT OF HIS KINGDOM. We can judge of any kingdom fairly if we can gain a fair knowledge of its king. Of God we know this - his will is that of a Father, a heavenly Father, a Holy Father. God might have put forth his power and forced the obedience of his creatures. He does not. He appeals to our motives and feelings as reasonable moral beings. He wants no kingdom of slaves; he wants the love and allegiance of free men. His is a spiritual kingdom. To accept the will of some men is hard; but God touches our feelings, wakens our confidence, commands our reverence, and so to us his will seems most beautiful, ever right, ever wise, ever gracious. And we know the spirit of his kingdom - it is the obedience which love renders.
III. IF WE CHEERFULLY ACCEPT THE WILL OF GOD, WE REALIZE THE COMING OF HIS KINGDOM. Prophecy indeed makes pictures of the setting up of a king in Jerusalem in the latter days; but prophecy is fulfilled, over and over again, when hearts yield to God; when families, communities, and nations accept his will and reign. God wants to secure the voluntary choice of his will as the rule of life. Wherever that is gained his kingdom is set up. - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.