Reading through the Bible together
The phrase “the LORD of hosts” appears 18 times in this one chapter. “Host” represents myriads of angels, and the phrase implies that the LORD is truly the Lord, who is mighty to rule over the whole universe as He plans and desires. He is the God who is speaking here, and whom we serve. Can we have confidence and trust in Him and His word?
This chapter was written while they were rebuilding the Temple after the exile (vs. 9). Zechariah is describing how the condition will be after the people of Israel come back to Jerusalem. They will enjoy security and abundance. Old grandfathers and grandmothers, and also young children will enjoy their life in safety. The peace and joy that the Lord wanted to bestow was amazing.
The prophet suggests some conditions for that. Out of His deep yearning, God says Jerusalem will be called the city of faithfulness (vs. 3). They have not been faithful to God, but they will be now. The Lord kindly instructs the people how they should act to enjoy His blessings in their restored land: Speak truth to your neighbor; execute the judgment of peace; do not devise evil against your fellows.
Do not fear (vs. 13 and 15). Strengthen your hands to rebuild. I will be your God and you will be My people. Things which look impossible in the sight of humans, can be done by the might of the Lord of hosts. Your monthly fast will become your feast time of joy, gladness, and cheerfulness. Therefore love the truth and peace (vs. 19).
In spite of all these encouraging promises, somehow the returned people of Israel did not fulfill the conditions suggested by the Lord, and the prophet’s eyes now have to go from the second-temple building period to the end-time remnant people.
The challenge comes to us. How is our situation before the Lord today? Are we a faithful people? As I participate in the Revived by His Word program, one of the recurring themes by many of the participants is, to be faithful to the Lord. Yes, without a doubt, let us be faithful to our God!
He will be our God in faithfulness and righteousness. Living in a world full of unrighteousness and uncertainty, God admonishes us with His assuring words: Those who have a steadfast mind and trust in God, He will keep in perfect peace (Isa 26:3). He will be our God with truthfulness and justice! (vs. 8).
Zechariah sees the people flocking to the messengers of this time. Many people will come to the Lord from different cities and countries, seeking for His grace and salvation. The things that ancient Israel did not fulfill, we will be able to do by depending on His Spirit. They will come to where they can hear the “present truth,” being preached by the faithful remnant. Ten people from different nations will hold to the edge of our clothes and wish to go with us to meet Him, because they heard that God is with us.
Such a bright vision is waiting for us. We want to be part of the vision that Zechariah had. Let us be faithful to our Lord. Amen.
Kyungpook National University
Sangju, South Korea