Father, to be with you is to be at home. Thank you for the security of your love, forgiveness, and wisdom.
Read ZECHARIAH 8
The Lord Promises to Bless Jerusalem
8 The word of the Lord Almighty came to me.
2 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “I am very jealous for Zion; I am burning with jealousy for her.”
3 This is what the Lord says: “I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the Faithful City, and the mountain of the Lord Almighty will be called the Holy Mountain.”
4 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Once again men and women of ripe old age will sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each of them with cane in hand because of their age. 5 The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there.”
6 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “It may seem marvelous to the remnant of this people at that time, but will it seem marvelous to me?” declares the Lord Almighty.
7 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “I will save my people from the countries of the east and the west. 8 I will bring them back to live in Jerusalem; they will be my people, and I will be faithful and righteous to them as their God.”
9 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Now hear these words, ‘Let your hands be strong so that the temple may be built.’ This is also what the prophets said who were present when the foundation was laid for the house of the Lord Almighty. 10 Before that time there were no wages for people or hire for animals. No one could go about their business safely because of their enemies, since I had turned everyone against their neighbor. 11 But now I will not deal with the remnant of this people as I did in the past,” declares the Lord Almighty.
12 “The seed will grow well, the vine will yield its fruit, the ground will produce its crops, and the heavens will drop their dew. I will give all these things as an inheritance to the remnant of this people. 13 Just as you, Judah and Israel, have been a curse[a] among the nations, so I will save you, and you will be a blessing.[b] Do not be afraid, but let your hands be strong.”
14 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Just as I had determined to bring disaster on you and showed no pity when your ancestors angered me,” says the Lord Almighty, 15 “so now I have determined to do good again to Jerusalem and Judah. Do not be afraid. 16 These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts; 17 do not plot evil against each other, and do not love to swear falsely. I hate all this,” declares the Lord.
18 The word of the Lord Almighty came to me.
19 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “The fasts of the fourth, fifth, seventh and tenth months will become joyful and glad occasions and happy festivals for Judah. Therefore love truth and peace.”
20 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Many peoples and the inhabitants of many cities will yet come, 21 and the inhabitants of one city will go to another and say, ‘Let us go at once to entreat the Lord and seek the Lord Almighty. I myself am going.’ 22 And many peoples and powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to seek the Lord Almighty and to entreat him.”
23 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “In those days ten people from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, ‘Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.’”
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
‘Bible teaching about the second coming of Christ … is the only ray of hope that shines as an ever-brightening beam in a darkening world.’1
The time of punishment is over. The Jews must henceforth commit themselves to righteous living (v 16) – but what a wonderful pledge God makes to them: ‘I have determined to do good again to Jerusalem and Judah’ (v 15)! What amazing promises – Jerusalem will be a safe place for the most vulnerable (vs 4, 5); there will be bountiful supplies of food (v 12); fasts will become feasts (v 19); Gentiles will come to seek the Lord, sharing the Jews’ privilege of having God dwelling among them (vs 20–23).
It all seems too good to be true! But God can do ‘marvelous’ things (v 6; the word derives from a Hebrew verb meaning ‘is anything too hard’ for God?).2 How could ruined Jerusalem rise from the ashes of destruction to become the city of God’s promises? Up to our time, neither Jerusalem nor Israel have yet attained the dizzy heights of peace, prosperity, and glory predicted in this chapter. Therefore, we must conclude that these ‘marvelous’ things will not occur until a future date.
We rejoice that those promises began to be fulfilled from the time that God’s kingly rule burst forth upon this world in the person and work of Jesus. The process continued with Christ’s commission to his disciples to ‘go and make disciples of all nations’.3 The task of world evangelization carries on still. Christians still await and eagerly expect everything God pledges in the chapter to occur at last. Some believe it will be through a millennial reign by Christ on earth.4 Others look beyond, to the coming from heaven of the new Jerusalem.5 Either way, future glory is coming with Christ’s return! Our spirits cry within us, ‘Maranatha!’ (‘Our Lord, come!).6
‘… we wait for the blessed hope – the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.’7 To what extent is Christ’s return your blessed hope?
Thank you Lord, you are for me and not against me, you want the very best for me. My desire today is to embrace your will for me.
1 Franklin Graham, Billy Graham In Quotes, Thomas Nelson, 2011, p123 2 See Gen 18:14; Jer 32.27 3 Matt 28:19 4 Rev 20 5 Rev 21 6 1 Cor 16:22 7 Titus 2:13
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