“I am jealous for Zion with great jealousy.” The Lord was deeply committed in love to His people. This was not a character defect, but a trait that was essential for the eternal well-being of His chosen ones. Despite the sin of Israel and Judah, God would never abandon His covenant love toward His elect.
The Almighty would make Jerusalem into “the faithful city.” The center of the Lord’s presence on earth would be filled with the elderly who would enjoy the wholesome activity of young boys and girls happily and safely playing in the streets. God would bring back His scattered children from the east and the west so that they could “dwell in the midst of Jerusalem.” All of the citizens there would be counted as the Lord’s beloved family, and He would be “their God in faithfulness and righteousness.”
Even in the days of Zechariah there was evidence that life could be better if Jehovah’s subjects devoted themselves to worship. When they turned their attention toward the construction of the temple, their earlier frustrations were lifted. The Lord promised the Jews that there would be “a sowing of peace,” and that they would be a “blessing” to many others just as God had told Abraham so many centuries earlier. Yet if they did not attend to His Law concerning daily ethical standards, they would never find stability and joy. If they desired feasts rather then the familiar fasts commemorating historical disasters, they needed to “love truth and peace.”
Zechariah announced the good news to His listeners that even far-off people groups all over the earth would one day see connection with the God of Israel as being the very best choice of their lives. They would announce to their friends, “Let us go at once to entreat the favor of the Lord,” and they would encourage others by saying, “I myself am going.” This invitation to worship Yahweh would bear great fruit among the Gentiles, so that eventually “ten men from the nations of every tongue shall take hold of the robe of a Jew, saying ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.’”
That might have sounded like too extravagant a promise in the centuries before the coming of the Messiah, but today the church is living proof that millions who have fled for refuge to Jesus have been grafted into Jehovah’s covenant community. Like the unclean woman who secretly touched the hem of His garment in hope that she might be healed, countless men, women, and children have found their place in a new Jerusalem. This could only have been accomplished through the saving work of one God/Man, Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Our Father, You are jealous for Your people. You discipline those You love, but You will accomplish the fullness of Your wonderful promises. You will rescue us and we will dwell with You forever. Help us to be strong, that Your temple might be built up in our place and time. We shall live in the midst of a great and fruitful land, and we will speak kindly to those all around us. We long for the day when You will grant the greatest blessing to Your church. In response to Your clear commandment, we commit our lives to justice and truth. Fill us with joy and peace, and assemble us together as those who will seek Your favor with confidence. May we take hold of our Redeemer’s robe with assurance, for He is powerful to save, and He is bringing us to Your city.