Heavenly Father, You have created me to “soar on wings like eagles” (Isa. 40:31). Lord, I want to soar today.
Read Zechariah 8:1–23
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!” (Isa. 43:18,19). We need to be always anticipating God’s next new thing.
There are times—in our church, our family, our workplace—when there is a big new idea or initiative. To begin with, everyone is enthusiastic. Later, the excitement wanes and the faithful few are left with an impossible task. Something similar seems to have happened with the building of the Temple in Jerusalem. Only this is different—because God himself is the driving force (2,3).
God’s blessing on the people in Judah had been withheld (9–13; see also Hag. 1:1–11) because they needed to repent before God’s work could get going. Zechariah’s and Haggai’s task was as much about calling people to repentance (Zech. 1:1–6) as it was about the building project. God’s judgment for past disobedience was not just expressed in the Exile but back in Judah, where there were poverty, corruption, injustice, conflict, insecurity—and failing crops (Hag. 2:17–19). Now, God promises, things are going to change (3). Through Zechariah, God gives a picture of how things can be in the renewed Jerusalem—if the people will respond to him in obedience. Here is a vision of God’s shalom. All people, from the youngest to the oldest, will live in safety, freedom, peace and harmony (4,5). Corruption and strife are to be replaced with truth, justice and good neighborliness; lamenting and fasting with joy and feasting (18,19).
God-inspired love of truth and peace is powerful (19). It’s not just the Temple which will be renewed, but the lives of God’s people. The renown of their God-centered living will spread far and wide, drawing people from other nations to seek God (22,23). “Do not be afraid,” God tells them, “but let your hands be strong” (13). What transformation is God longing for in our lives, our church and our nation? Are we willing and ready to commit ourselves to his work and will?
Right now does your relationship feel like a fast or a feast (19)? In what way? What changes do you need to make?
Lord God, renew me and transform me, so that I might live a faithful life which will draw others to worship You.