Daily Word

Purposed, not proposed… | Zechariah 8:14-17 (ESV)

14 For thus says the LORD of hosts: “As I purposed to bring disaster to you when your fathers provoked me to wrath, and I did not relent, says the LORD of hosts, 15 so again have I purposed in these days to bring good to Jerusalem and to the house of Judah; fear not.

16 These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another; render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace; 17 do not devise evil in your hearts against one another, and love no false oath, for all these things I hate, declares the LORD.”

Zechariah 8:14-17 (ESV)


The first time I read this too quickly and read it as proposed. So, it read as the Lord saying, “I proposed to bring disaster” and, “I proposed in these days to bring good to Jerusalem”. There is quite a difference in the result of these two. Propose is to “put forward (an idea or plan) for consideration or discussion by others.” (Oxford Languages, Google). Purpose is to “have as one’s intention or objective.” (Oxford Languages, Google)

God is not proposing to do these things for He doesn’t need to seek the counsel of men. Rather, He decides to act, He purposes to act.

I’m sorry if this has now confused you!

What was

In the past, due to Israel’s hardness of heart, in love, God purposed, He intended, designed to bring disaster on Israel – and He did. The purpose, the reason, was to bring them back to Himself and it was motivated by love. 

What is

In these days of this prophecy, He now purposes, He intends, to bring good, to bless Jerusalem and the Jews. The motivation is again love and He acts with grace – giving them what they do not deserve. 

Now what?

What God expects in return is obedience. He provides a basic list of things in verses 16, 17 they should do and not do to demonstrate obedience and faith. Do not do what God hates. Ultimately, it’s a demonstration of love toward The Lord. Should we not do the same? Shall we purpose to do His will and obey His commands? They are not burdensome. (1John 5:3)


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