Read Zechariah 2:1-13
“…(H)e who touches you touches the apple of his eye . . .” (v. 8). Those sound like the kind of words a protective father would speak about his beloved daughter. And that is exactly what they are. God is the heavenly Father. Those words express His thoughts about Israel, His chosen and beloved nation. What incredible words of affirming love! He loves His children infinitely.
Unfortunately, the apple of his eye is not polished and perfect. Israel had been known to have wormholes! God wasn’t blind to that reality. He was fully aware of it. Even though He is a protective, jealous Father, He didn’t treat His children like spoiled brats, allowing them to get away with anything and everything. In fact, He banished them to 70 years of exile in Babylon as punishment for their sin.
Those twin truths are true of all God’s children today as well.
- On the one hand, we are loved beyond our ability to comprehend as children of God: “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are” (1 Jn. 3:1)!
- On the other hand, we are subject to discipline because we are His beloved: “The Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son” (Heb. 12:6).
For the nation of Israel, that time of discipline was over. His people were permitted to return to their homeland and their beloved city of Jerusalem. And yet, they still had concerns about their future. They wondered if the surrounding enemies would overwhelm them. They were concerned that their favorite city would never exude the beauty it once had.
Thankfully, God used eight visions to communicate to His man Zechariah the hope that they could embrace. In this third vision, Zechariah is shown a man . . . like a building contractor . . . measuring Jerusalem in anticipation of its restoration . . . to its former glory and beyond.
That’s what God does for people who are the “apple of His eye” like you and me. He loves us infinitely. He disciplines us appropriately. And He restores us gloriously.
Thank You, Father!