Zechariah 8 | Blessed to be a Blessing
1The word of the Lord Almighty came to me. 2This is what the Lord Almighty says: “I am very jealous for Zion; I am burning with jealousy for her.” 3This is what the Lord says: “I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the Faithful City, and the mountain of the Lord Almighty will be called the Holy Mountain.”
- God is burning with jealousy for his people even though they reject his ways. This reveals his deep love and mercy for his people which is greater than our sin
- Jerusalem with be the Faithful City [City of Truth] because God will be there and his people will be as he is
4This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Once again men and women of ripe old age will sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each of them with cane in hand because of their age. 5The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there.”
- There will be peace and blessing on God’s city – with no fear of death or outside enemies
- This could either be speaking of the restored Jerusalem prior to Jesus (more likely this based on the next verse), or figurative of the earthly reign of Christ.
6This is what the Lord Almighty says: “It may seem marvellous to the remnant of this people at that time, but will it seem marvellous to me?” declares the Lord Almighty.
- It will seem marvellous to the remnant at that time, but God has something far greater in store – the redemption of humanity across the nations!
- God has planned for far more people to dwell in Jerusalem with Him than just this remnant
7This is what the Lord Almighty says: “I will save my people from the countries of the east and the west. 8I will bring them back to live in Jerusalem; they will be my people, and I will be faithful and righteous to them as their God.”
- Exactly what God is talking about and what will be ‘marvelous’ to Him, the salvation of his people from distant nations (east and west) to be His people and for Him to be their God
9This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Now hear these words, ‘Let your hands be strong so that the temple may be built.’ This is also what the prophets said who were present when the foundation was laid for the house of the Lord Almighty. 10Before that time there were no wages for people or hire for animals. No one could go about their business safely because of their enemies, since I had turned everyone against their neighbour.
- God’s hand was against the people beforehand who built the first temple because their hearts were not for Him
11But now I will not deal with the remnant of this people as I did in the past,” declares the Lord Almighty. 12“The seed will grow well, the vine will yield its fruit, the ground will produce its crops, and the heavens will drop their dew. I will give all these things as an inheritance to the remnant of this people. 13Just as you, Judah and Israel, have been a curse among the nations, so I will save you, and you will be a blessing. Do not be afraid, but let your hands be strong.” 14This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Just as I had determined to bring disaster on you and showed no pity when your ancestors angered me,” says the Lord Almighty, 15“so now I have determined to do good again to Jerusalem and Judah. Do not be afraid.
- God is redeeming and restoring his people to become a blessing to the nations – the fulness of this means the gospel
- God is blessing his people to be a blessing – we are blessed to be a blessing
- God’s blessing is one that overflows and cascades onwards from one to another
- God joins this with a command for their hands to be strong – to be faithful in the rebuilding of his Temple as He is faithful in the rebuilding of His people/church.
16These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts; 17do not plot evil against each other, and do not love to swear falsely. I hate all this,” declares the Lord.
- God reiterates again what he said just before, and this is an example of what they need to faithful at.
- They need to build back physically, but they also need to build back morally and righteously too!
- At the completion of the wall in Nehemiah the people build back on God’s word
18The word of the Lord Almighty came to me. 19This is what the Lord Almighty says: “The fasts of the fourth, fifth, seventh and tenth months will become joyful and glad occasions and happy festivals for Judah. Therefore love truth and peace.”
- The fasts that had been observed for seventy years were now to become festivals and feasts as God is blessing his people
- This blessing comes with a requirement for his people to live in accordance with their blessing though and to ‘love truth and peace’
- God is knitting back his godly people with the promise of his blessing – which are things which go hand in hand
20This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Many peoples and the inhabitants of many cities will yet come, 21and the inhabitants of one city will go to another and say, ‘Let us go at once to entreat the Lord and seek the Lord Almighty. I myself am going.’ 22And many peoples and powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to seek the Lord Almighty and to entreat him.” 23This is what the Lord Almighty says: “In those days ten people from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, ‘Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.’ ”
- The blessing of the gospel will go to the ends of the earth and people of many cities and nations will be blessed through the gospel
- This could be figurative of just the blessing through the gospel, or literal in terms of Christ’s earthly reign when He returns.
- This could also be prophetic of the redemption of the Jewish people, and them being a blessing to others in terms of communicating the gospel
God is burning with jealousy for his people and so has committed to bless them, and that their being blessed would be a blessing to other peoples. Through Jesus, God will not just save people of Jewish heritage but from nations all over the world, and gather them to himself to be blessed eternally.