Read Zechariah 8:1-23
Better days . . . Scratch that . . . Blessed days were ahead for God’s people. Just think about what God promised them . . .
He would dwell in Jerusalem (v. 3).
People would grow old there (v. 4).
Children would play there (v. 5).
A remnant would return there (vv. 7, 8).
They would experience peace, safety, and prosperity there (vv. 10-12).
Their fasting would turn to feasting there (vv. 18, 19).
Nations would worship there (vv. 20-23).
Those blessings certainly stood in stark contrast to the experiences of destruction and exile that had characterized the most recent generations of God’s people and their all-important city. But those were the things that God’s people then, in the days of Zechariah, and ultimately, in the still-future days of the Millennium, could anticipate.
A casual, uninformed observer of those days of blessing could draw some wrong conclusions. He or she might conclude that God is an unpredictable deity, whose emotions and actions might change without rhyme or reason. I hope you are not of that opinion. After all, God is always loving and just. He is continually One who is filled with grace and truth. He always acts true to His character.
In addition, God always keeps His promises. Having adopted the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as His people, He had obligated Himself to blessing them for their obedience and punishing them for their sin (Deut. 11). They had experienced and they would experience the reality of that promise.
By the way we look today for some magic-formula assurance that we will be blessed with good health and financial stability, we may conclude that living a godly life will guarantee it for us. Unfortunately, physical and material blessing cannot be reduced to such a simple math equation. We can, however, say that we are blessed for our obedience . . . in sometimes less tangible ways and, certainly, in eternity.
This chapter also points to the fulfillment of another promise. Through the nation of Israel other nations would experience blessing (Gen. 12:1-3). Christ, as a descendant of the tribe of Judah, offers eternal blessing to all. And today, followers of Jesus have been commissioned to take the life-giving gospel to people from all nations (Matt. 28:18-20).