Daily Word

But now… | Zechariah 8:9-13 (ESV)

9 Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Let your hands be strong, you who in these days have been hearing these words from the mouth of the prophets who were present on the day that the foundation of the house of the Lord of hosts was laid, that the temple might be built. 10 For before those days there was no wage for man or any wage for beast, neither was there any safety from the foe for him who went out or came in, for I set every man against his neighbor.

11 But now I will not deal with the remnant of this people as in the former days, declares the Lord of hosts. 12 For there shall be a sowing of peace. The vine shall give its fruit, and the ground shall give its produce, and the heavens shall give their dew. And I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things. 13 And as you have been a byword of cursing among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so will I save you, and you shall be a blessing. Fear not, but let your hands be strong.”

Zechariah 8:9-13 (ESV)

Remember

This is a wonderful passage of hope and grace. Verse 9 starts with a reminder and encouragement to continue their task – to rebuild the temple, started over 15 years prior. Zechariah reviews the consequences of their disobedience of not continuing the temple construction and selfishly focusing on their own homes (Hagai 2:15-19). There was famine, poverty, lack of security, and animosity among them. God allowed them to reap the consequences of sin.

But now

Don’t you love it. This is like other “But God” verses, where the situation is bleak with no hope, but God arises and takes action. In this case, God had been dealing with Israel’s sin and allowing them to reap the destruction they’ve sowed. But now God says, “That’s enough, I’m going to choose to bless you… and all nations.

What kind of God is that?! His people sin and reject / neglect Him and He, in His time and way, forgives and blesses. He does this even before forgiveness is sought. Don’t believe me? Look at the cross. He provided forgiveness before we were even born!

Notes on the future fulfilment

JFB and Clarke’s commentaries provide their thoughts on future fulfilment: 

  • Clarke: “All these promises we may expect to be completely fulfilled when the Jews acknowledge their Messiah.”
  • JFB: “The distinct mention of “Judah” and “Israel” proves that the prophecy has not yet had its full accomplishment, as Israel (the ten tribes) has never yet been restored, though individuals of Israel returned with Judah.”
Image by S K from Pixabay

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1 Comment

  1. ‘But now God says, “That’s enough, I’m going to choose to bless you… and all nations.’
    Thanks! This gives us hope despite our current spike-up of COVID varients and social unrest. It’s a timely reminder of God’s grace and love for us in this Christmas.

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