Posts Tagged ‘Zechariah’

Sing and Rejoice

Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD.

Zechariah 2:10

I have noticed several verses in the books of the prophets that speak of the Lord “dwelling in the midst of His people” or “being in the midst of His people.”  All of these verses are connected with singing and rejoicing.  And I have to second that emotion.  What better thing to sing and rejoice about than the fact that the Lord is in the midst of His people?

The “daughters of Zion” here are singing and rejoicing because “lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee.”  This verse could be our motto.  We should be singing and rejoicing because God has come and is dwelling in the midst of us.  He lives in our hearts!  He came to us and died for us on the cross.  He rose from the dead for us.  He came to us when He convicted us of our sin and of our need for Him.  He is in the midst of us every day: helping us, encouraging us, sometimes chastening us, fellowshipping with us.  He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us.  He is ever in our midst.  He is literally coming again, and it may be soon.  Then He will literally and physically be in the midst of us.  What a thought!  What a great reason to sing and rejoice!

How often do we rejoice in these things?  How often do we sing praises to Him because our hearts are so full of love and gratitude?  How thankful are we?  I think we would all do well to meditate on all that He has done for us.  That will most certainly bring about some “singing and rejoicing!”

God’s Word and Statutes = Forever

Your fathers, where are they?  and the prophets, do they live for ever?  But my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not take hold of your fathers?  and they returned and said, Like as the LORD of hosts thought to do unto us, according to our ways, and according to our doings, so hath he dealt with us.

Zechariah 1:5-6

Once again, we are reminded of the shortness and frailty of human life and of the everlasting power and truth of God’s Word.  The answers to both questions in verse five (Your fathers, where are they? and the prophets, do they live for ever?) and both obvious.  Their fathers are gone, as are their father’s fathers and their fathers before them.  Even the great and mighty prophets do not live for ever.  As great of men as many of these prophets were, they still didn’t live forever.  Life is short and fragile, as many other scriptures would tell us.  However, the fact that their fathers were gone and the prophets were gone is contrasted with the things found in verse six: “But my words, and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets…”  Those are things that will last forever.

Think about that the next time you read your Bible.  There are not many eternal things on this earth.  In fact, even the earth itself is not eternal.  Like everything else, it will have an end.  Our bodies wear down; they are not eternal.  But those Words of God that we can hold in our hands are eternal.  They do not die with men.  They do not become weaker over the years.  These verses are still as powerful today as they were when they were penned over 2,000 years ago.  What a great thought!  What a marvelous Book we have and what a marvelous privilege it is to be able to read it.

“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.”  (Isaiah 40:8)

Learn From the Mistakes of Others

Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the LORD of hosts.  Be ye not as your fathers, unto whom the former prophets have cried, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings: but they did not hear, nor hearken unto me, saith the LORD.

Zechariah 1:3-4

The first phrase in verse four really caught my eye as I was reading this passage: “Be ye not as your fathers…”  God was giving a warning to the nation of Israel and He told them to not follow the example of their fathers.  That is a sad statement.  I’m sure that every father would want their children to look up to them and would want to be a good example for them.  Sadly, that is not always the case.  It was not definitely not the case in this situation.

God was sending these people a prophet in hopes of getting them to turn back to Him.  He had already sent prophets to their fathers with the same message:  “Turn ye now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings…”  And their fathers rejected that message and rejected the Lord: “…but they did not hear, nor hearken unto me, saith the LORD.”  Even though they had rebelled against Him, God had extended them an offer of reconciliation, which they rejected.

Now God is imploring the people to learn from the mistakes of their fathers and turn back to Him.  Sometimes it is important to learn from the mistakes of others.  We fail and we need to learn from those failures.  Others around us fail, too.  We need to learn from those mistakes as well.  In every situation in our lives, the Lord wants to teach us something.  The question is: are we willing to learn?  These Israelites didn’t learn from the mistakes of their fathers and were destroyed because of it.

The Prophet’s Job

In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying, The LORD hath been sore displeased with your fathers.  Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the LORD of hosts.

Zechariah 1:1-3

One of the many things that strikes me as I read through the books of the prophets is the fact that, even in the midst of judgment, and even after generations of rebellion and disobedience, God is still sending prophets to His people with messages of warning and messages of mercy and restoration.  These verses sum up those messages of the prophets perfectly.

Verse two tells us “The LORD hath been sore displeased with your fathers.”  By this point, the nation of Israel had been in spiritual rebellion for several generations.  It had been years and years since the people loved, obeyed and followed the Lord.  They had long since rejected Him and starting serving other “gods.”  This obviously displeased God.  And He tells the people that He has been displeased with their fathers.  The prophets always warned the people and always told the people exactly what they had done to displease the Lord.  God was not vague with them.  He told them what the problem was and He told them how to fix it.

“…Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you…”  After expressing His displeasure with their fathers, the Lord tells the prophets to give the people a message of reconciliation.  Even though their fathers had rejected God and served other gods, if they would turn back to the Lord, He would turn to them.  We can see from history that the people did not accept this gracious offer, and they were judged.

When you think about it, those are things that the Bible does for us today.  It tells us where we have failed and it tells us of the Saviour’s love.  It tells us that we are not right, but it also tells us how to get right.  We need to be thankful for our “more sure word of prophecy.”  (II Peter 1:19)