“Listening to God” Bible Reading & Devotion: Feb. 9, 2022 – Zechariah 008

Read chapter in full: biblegateway.com/passage/?version=ESV&search=Zechariah+008

 

Zechariah 8 (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.”

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.”

 

REFLECTION:

  • In Chapter 8 the prophet declares a multiple and comforting promise with the key phrase “thus says the Lord of hosts.” And all the promise can be summed up in the declaration in verse 13 – that all curses will become blessings (cf. 14-15).
  • It has been more than fifteen years since God and His prophets urged the people to complete the construction of the Temple. Here again God encourages them with a vision for the future (13-15). There are many reasons we can find when we are neglectful, such as others not responding; we are physically and emotionally drained; co-workers are not cooperating; the work is boring, too difficult, or not worth the effort. God’s promises about the future should be our encouragement now. He knows the results of our toil and therefore gives us a vision for the future to help us continue to serve Him.
  • God promises His people abundant rewards, assuring them that even though they will suffer punishment, He will not change His mind to bless them (15). But He also said that the people had responsibilities to do. God is faithful, and we too must be responsible: speaking the truth, doing justice, and making peace (16). If we want God to do His part, we must do our part too.

 

PRAYER:

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for the precious promises You have given me. Put these promises before me through the Bible. May You help me look to these promises by faith. Give me the power to hope by faith, and inspire me to live a life that transcends circumstances, to live by faith in this world.

 

HYMN:

Living By Faith  youtu.be/wYswgnAhAqc

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