Today you should read: Zechariah 8
“In chapter 7, Israel was to repent and live righteously after the punishment of her captivity; here in chapter 8 she is to repent and live righteously because of the promise of her future restoration.” (Quoted in Constables Notes, NETBible.org)
Zechariah 8 pictures a work that only God could do. That is, after the devastation of the Babylonian Exile, God promises what he will do to restore Israel. Depending on a person’s view of the end-times, this chapter may be disclosing the future earthly reign of Christ when he returns for a second time. This period is referred to as the Millennial Kingdom. It is the time when the Lord will “return to Zion and dwell in the midst of Jerusalem, and Jerusalem shall be called the faithful city, and the mountain of the Lord of hosts, the holy mountain.”
If you have a pen, underline the phrase “Lord of Hosts.” Let me rephrase, if you’re reading a paper Bible, underline “Lord of Hosts,” not the computer. That phrase appears 18 times in this chapter alone. The Lord is jealous for his people and in fulfilling His promise, “with great wrath.”
The jealousy of the Lord confuses some people. It is not a jealousy from an inability to have what He wants—though that’s how we often experience it. I think of God’s jealousy as a divine frustration that someone would want less for themselves than God wants for them. God is not jealous for things; He is jealous for the affections of people’s hearts. He wants the best for them, He is the best for them, when they choose anything less than worshipping God, they’re not experiencing God’s best. When it comes to God being the “Lord of Hosts,” any person that would thwart God’s best is in danger of experiencing the wrath of heaven’s armies.
If I had to summarize this chapter in a word, it would be “hope.” Today remember that we have a God who will fight for us. He is the Commander of Heaven’s Armies. And while I see many of the good things this chapter promises as future, that does not mean God doesn’t fight for us in the present. God has provided every weapon of war we need (Ephesians 6) to succeed against the unholy trinity—the world, the flesh, and the devil. When Zechariah says, “Love truth and peace” (19), God’s Spirit wants to produce that as fruit in your life (Galatians 5).
We don’t have to wait to experience the victory of the Lord of Hosts. However, it’s that victory that is our hope. Romans 8:18 reminds us that anything we face in life won’t be worth comparing to what we’ll experience in that day.
Spend a few moments and praise God for who He is, the Lord of Hosts, and the hope we have in Him.
By: Tyler Short — Connections Ministry Associate
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