Chapter 3 ended with a clear declaration of the judgment of God on the men and women of Judah. Chapter 4 begins with the continuing effect of that judgment. There was such a great slaughter of Judah’s men that seven women are after one man - yikes! Matthew Henry says, “By the foregoing threatening everything looks melancholy, but here in verse 2 the sun breaks out from behind the cloud.”
“In that day the Branch of the LORD will be beautiful and glorious….” Things are ugly and dark but the Messiah is beautiful and glorious and His work is beautiful and glorious. He washes away the filth of the daughters of Zion. He purges the bloodshed of Jerusalem from her midst. To quote Henry again, “God will reform His church and will rectify and amend whatever is amiss in her.”
How does He wash and purge the filth and bloodshed? He does it by the work of the Spirit! Oh, how we need the Spirit of the Living God! Once again hear Henry's words, “The Spirit herein acts enlightening the mind, convincing the conscience, guiding us, separating between the precious and the vile, quickening and invigorating the affections, and making men zealous in good works.” This is the Spirit’s work of sanctification in the life of a believer.
Our faithful God promises to sanctify His people through His Spirit. But not only does God sanctify us, He also fortifies us. Look at the promises that are ours because of the cleansing work of the Sprit: “…then the LORD will create over the whole area of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day…a flaming fire by night…. And there will be a shelter to give shade from the heat by day, and refuge and protection from the storm and the rain.”
God will protect His church and all of those that belong to it. There is much here that is similar to the cloud of glory that accompanied Israel in the wilderness. That cloud was a refuge to God's people. God is still a refuge to His people and He is a refuge to them in all weather.
Whatever I am facing, be it the scorching heat or the torrential cloudburst, He is my refuge and strength and "an ever present help in trouble." He has saved me from my sin and He will certainly save me from my troubles! My Redeemer is faithful and true! Pacian said, “He will not allow him that is redeemed to be destroyed, nor will He cast away those whom He has redeemed with such a great price.”
In Him I am sanctified and I am secure!
In His glorious grace,