Friday, April 26, 2013

Zechariah 8

[1] Again the word of the LORD of hosts came to me, saying,

·         God is so compassionate that after almost every prophecy of judgment there followed a prophecy of mercy and healing.

[2] Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury.

·         One of the first thing God says is that He is a jealous God
·         It means that He is protective of the things that matter to Him

[3] Thus saith the LORD; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain.

·         This is a personal promise that God would Himself dwell in the city
·         Holy Mountain is a phrase used by Isaiah and Ezekiel mainly, and it’s typically with respect to the messiah coming, see Ezek. 20

[4] Thus saith the LORD of hosts; There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age.

·         Currently there were likely very few people that made it to old age. Old age is a sign of comparative riches and ease.
·         In other words, no more judgment would come

[5] And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof.
[6] Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If it be marvellous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, should it also be marvellous in mine eyes? saith the LORD of hosts.

·         This is seen as an incredible statement to the people, but to God it’s a very ordinary thing
·         Reminiscent of the famine in Samaria where God promised abundant food
·         Children playing in the streets speaks also to the lack of danger, and blessings that God would give

[7] Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country;
[8] And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness.

·         This is reminiscent of Exodus 6:7, and a reinstatement of Jeremiah 30:22, 32:38. Hebrews 8:10 takes this as directly applicable to the new covenant (which we are in)
·         The idea of East and West is that the kingdom shatters geographic barriers, being a spiritual kingdom. God is bringing everyone into His house from all over the world.

[9] Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Let your hands be strong, ye that hear in these days these words by the mouth of the prophets, which were in the day that the foundation of the house of the LORD of hosts was laid, that the temple might be built.

·         A command to build up the temple and worship as they should. Be strong, you are doing what God wants you to do.

[10] For before these days there was no hire for man, nor any hire for beast; neither was there any peace to him that went out or came in because of the affliction: for I set all men every one against his neighbour.

·         Peace is from the Lord. If He does not grant it then we will never cooperate with our neighbor
·         Isaiah 19:2 (I write this because I just read it) points to the same thing, without God there is only violence
·         See Hag 1:6-11, God had set His face against them, but this was not going to be so forever

[11] But now I will not be unto the residue of this people as in the former days, saith the LORD of hosts.
[12] For the seed shall be prosperous; the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground shall give her increase, and the heavens shall give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things.

·         God will deal with the remnant differently than before
·         He will soon give them the blessings that come from obedience to the Mosaiac law. This on the one hand points back to His promises, and points toward it’s fulfillment

[13] And it shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah, and house of Israel; so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing: fear not, but let your hands be strong.

·         God promised to Abraham that he would bless the nations. Now God is going to secure this promise for them
·         The Jews were a smoke to the eyes of the nations, and a cursing, but now the people of God would be pure and separate.

[14] For thus saith the LORD of hosts; As I thought to punish you, when your fathers provoked me to wrath, saith the LORD of hosts, and I repented not:
[15] So again have I thought in these days to do well unto Jerusalem and to the house of Judah: fear ye not.

·         In the same way and with the same determination that He punished them He would restore them. With the notion of punishment firmly in their mind this was a great comfort. His punishment was severe but the same ferocity would be turned upon them for good.

[16] These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates:
[17] And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the LORD.

·         I do not want your fastings, says God, I want your obedience. I want you to treat each other kindly, and be honest. Be truthful and loving. Be like Me.
·         This is a re-iteration of the message in chapter 7

[18] And the word of the LORD of hosts came unto me, saying,
[19] Thus saith the LORD of hosts; The fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, shall be to the house of Judah joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts; therefore love the truth and peace.

·         This may or may not have been understood properly by the people, so there is a break and another prophetic word comes to Zechariah.
·         They still do not get it after the third message so God will send a fourth message. Their days of fasting will become feasts

[20] Thus saith the LORD of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities:
[21] And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts: I will go also.

·         There were very few people in the city at this point, so what God is promising is His ever present protection and care to grow them.
·         There were people from every nation and tribe and tongue in Jerusalem for the Passover seeking God. But God was really seeking them.

[22] Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD.
[23] Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.

·         They are taking hold of Christ. They are seizing His robes and pleading with Him for salvation. And just so, the Gentiles took hold of Paul and the Apostles and begged to be shown God.
·         This is the swarming of the Gentiles into the church that took place in the book of Acts.

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