The Lord is jealous for his people and he longs to restore us when we live apart from him. As his people, we should be projecting the presence of God and draw others to the Lord. Today we consider how we can reflect God’s goodness to the people around us…
This is what the Lord Almighty says: “I am very jealous for Zion; I am burning with jealousy for her.” This is what the Lord says: “I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the Faithful City, and the mountain of the Lord Almighty will be called the Holy Mountain.”
This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Once again men and women of ripe old age will sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each of them with cane in hand because of their age. The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there.” But now I will not deal with the remnant of this people as I did in the past,” declares the Lord Almighty. “The seed will grow well, the vine will yield its fruit, the ground will produce its crops, and the heavens will drop their dew. I will give all these things as an inheritance to the remnant of this people.
This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Just as I had determined to bring disaster on you and showed no pity when your ancestors angered me,” says the Lord Almighty, “so now I have determined to do good again to Jerusalem and Judah. Do not be afraid. These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts; do not plot evil against each other, and do not love to swear falsely. I hate all this,” declares the Lord .
This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Many peoples and the inhabitants of many cities will yet come, and the inhabitants of one city will go to another and say, ‘Let us go at once to entreat the Lord and seek the Lord Almighty. I myself am going.’ And many peoples and powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to seek the Lord Almighty and to entreat him.”
This is what the Lord Almighty says: “In those days ten people from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, ‘Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.’ ”
Zechariah 8:2-5, 11-12, 14-17, 20-2
We see here that the Lord is jealous for his people. This has always been the case. He created us for relationship with him and when we turn away from God we arouse his jealousy. He wants us for himself and he knows how good our lives will be when we are walking in step with him.
The ancestors of the people of Judah angered God and he brought disaster upon them because of their disobedience. No longer will he treat them in this manner. He is restoring the remnant of his people to peace and hope and rest in him. We see the picture of what Jerusalem will look like under God’s blessing: it will be called the Faithful City and the old will sit in the streets and watch the young as they play. No fear. No trouble. Love, rest, and peace…
The land, God promises, will be fruitful as an inheritance for God’s children. In this great city and land, the expectation is for the people to reflect the righteousness and goodness of God in their lives. They are to speak the truth to one another, preserve justice in their courts, and refrain from plotting evil or speaking falsely. Oh, to have this kind of morality and ethical standard in our land today. Wouldn’t we be the envy of every nation?
Well, that is what we see here: Jerusalem becomes the city everyone wants to be a part of, with people coming from all foreign lands to say to the children of God, “Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.” Wow…
Do people around our churches say that about us? Do they see God being with us? If our churches, do not project the presence of God, then how will our cities ever make such a holy claim? Only through the favour and blessing of God.
Lord, will you show your favour to my city in this way? Would you inhabit the church to reflect your goodness to the people around us? May we reflect you even today, God…