Week 5: Zechariah 1:14, 16-17

Week 5: Zechariah 1:14, 16-17

Week 5

Zechariah 1:14, 16-17 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘I am exceedingly jealous for Jerusalem and Judah’…Thus says the Lord, ‘I will return to Jerusalem with compassion; My house will be built in it,’ declares the Lord of hosts…Again proclaim, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘My cities will again overflow with prosperity, and the Lord will again comfort Zion and again choose Jerusalem.”

God’s elect people have a very special relationship to God; He is our Father, Savior, and Lord.  At the center of this redemptive relationship is His love for us shown in Christ and the gospel.  But we must not overlook the fact that our Father is very wise, and He will do what is best for us, including disciplining us for our good.  Hebrews 12:6 declares that whom the Lord loves, He disciplines.  God’s people in Zechariah’s day had endured divine discipline for their sin.  Zechariah 1:12 speaks of the 70 years of Babylonian exile that God’s covenant people had experienced.  But now, the time of divine displeasure is over, and God is preparing to restore and renew His dear people.  It was for jealous love that He disciplined His sinning people so that they might learn to love Him supremely and walk with Him obediently; now His fatherly heart yearns to pour out blessing and prosperity upon them.  He will bring them home, and in doing so, He will lavish on them His kindness and sweet mercy.

There are times when we may, as God’s saved people, feel God’s displeasure with us when we drift from Him.  We may even feel that God has abandoned us in the pain of His discipline and correction.  Our circumstances and situations through which we pass in this travail of tears can at times be burdensome and heart-rending.  We might echo the angel of the Lord in Zechariah 1:12, “O Lord of hosts, how long will you have no compassion for Jerusalem and the cities of Judah?”  How many of God’s suffering and sick saints have prayed, “How long, O Lord, how long?”  Surely God’s loving and sweet heart hears the prayers of His hurting people, and He will most assuredly come to our aid with His mighty power and kingly provision!  For He loves us with an everlasting love; time will bear witness to His bursting forth of tender mercies on behalf of His beloved people.  He will come with a sword unsheathed to protect us and with a providing hand to care for His own.  If He gave His Son for us, then He will certainly take care of everything else (Romans 8:32).

What must we do if we find ourselves in such dire circumstances?  We must do what we always ought to do – we must seek the Lord with all our hearts, pouring out to Him our prayers and supplications, trusting in Him for His timely and gracious care and provision.  He is jealous for our hearts, and He is zealous for our needs.  Even in dark moments, let us not dare to doubt His love; He will shortly come and restore us unto Himself.  Come the sweet day of His mercy, come!

Prayer: Lord, I have drifted from you and grieved over my sin and stubbornness.  But Your saving work in Christ is greater than my sin; Your power to forgive and restore is larger than my pride and disobedience.  How wonderful is Your grace to me in Christ!  How glorious stands the cross of My Savior before my aching and straying heart!  Bring me home, sweet Lord, bring me home.  Like the prodigal, clothe me in righteousness, and put the ring of acceptance on the finger of my soul.  Make me know that You love me, and fill me with wonder, gratitude, and worshipful obedience.

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