We begin this week by reading through Zechariah 8:1-13…
v1: ‘L-rd of hosts/armies’: Notice how many times in this chapter G-d refers to Himself by this name.
v2: Zealous, jealous: G-d is passionate about the establishment of His Kingdom.
· Zion is not a term for the Jerusalem of today but refers to the Jerusalem of the future – Jerusalem in her perfect/redeemed state.
v3: When G-d’s presence is in a place truth and holiness are also there. The Holy Spirit dwells in us – the fruit of that should be truth and holiness in our lives.
· Mountain = prophetically speaking refers to a government or empire. G-d’s government is going to be a holy one.
v4: Old age is seen as a blessing (Ex 20:12, Eph 6:2-3). G-d is going to establish His Kingdom for the purpose of blessing His people.
v5: Not only do we see blessing in G-d’s Kingdom, but we also see security.
v6: ‘The remnant’ – FAITH is a characteristic of the remnant (a small group of people in comparison to the masses) who will receive blessing and security from G-d.
v7: G-d is going to save His people globally (from the east of the globe to the west). G-d is going to bring the Jewish people, from all over the world, back to the land of Israel. He is taking them back for the purpose of salvation – that they might come to faith once they are back in the land.
v8: Jerusalem is associated, first and foremost with worship (the temple).
· A definition of redemption: We are His people, He is our G-d. Unity between G-d and man.
· Truth and righteousness are the fruits in the lives of people who have been redeemed.
v9: ‘Let your hands be strong’ is a Hebrew idiom for commitment. G-d does not want His people to become discouraged, but He wants them to remain committed to His purposes. We are not to become discouraged if what the prophets have said is not fulfilled immediately.
v10: Before the establishment of G-d’s kingdom the world will be full of injustice (no wages) and there will be no security/peace.
· “Went out or came in”: An idiom for war.
· ‘All men, everyone, against his neighbor’- G-d is going to allow a time of disunity, conflict and division among peoples and nations. This is going to reach its pinnacle right before the end/last days.
v11: Things are going to be different for the remnant that survive.
v12: There is going to be evidence of fruitfulness. G-d is going to fulfill all of His covenant promises – not only to the Jewish people but also to the Gentiles.
v13: The call of Israel was to be a blessing to the nations (Gen 12:3). This is exactly what she is going to become.
The encouragement here is that she must not be afraid through the great end time persecution and hardships. Once again, her hands needing to be strong is emphasized.