|Zoom meeting for May 24, 2020 at 11:00 am
ID: 886 8630 8013, PW: 3R6diy
[To join the meeting by Phone dial 1 253 215 8782,
you will need this ID: 886 8630 8013 and PW: 922042 ]
Fallon Evangelical will be meeting live this Sunday, May 24th, at its
regular times of 9:30 am and 11:00 am. We will also have the 11:00
am service on Zoom at the address listed above as we study .
God Will Restore Israel
What is it that gives us hope? Israel was chosen by God to be His
people, and as Genesis 12 also stated to be a blessing to all the people
of the world who would acknowledge God. In Zech 8:1-2, God clearly
expresses His great love for Israel.
God’s people do not live on explanations; they live on promises.
God’s promises given in the Bible nourish us and give us faith and
hope. In chapter 8, Zechariah switches from talk of traditions and
delivers a new message from God. The focus of the people’s faith
becomes fixed on the future as God shares some wonderful promises of
what He will do for Israel.
God promises that He will return to dwell in the midst of
Jerusalem (v3) and rule the world. Jerusalem will be called the City
of Truth because the Messiah will rule in truth (Rev. 19:11). We learn
in vs. 4-5, unlike today’s world, it will be a safe place for old men and
women to sit in public, and for children to play in the streets.
In verse 6, the word “marvelous” can also mean “difficult” and
God is saying that there is nothing too difficult for the Lord. Israel had
turned to pagan worship. God had used the Assyrians and the
Babylonians to uproot Israel some 600 years before Christ’s birth, but
the uprooting in Deuteronomy 28 also refers to when the Jews rejected
their Messiah and were scattered all over the world.
Now in v8, God is promising to restore His relationship with His
chosen people. God is encouraging Israel when He says that their
hands will be strong. The work on rebuilding the temple in the days of
Nehemiah had been unproductive because the people were tired and
had not turned to God.
Now starting in v11, a new day has come and God promises to
save His people, and they would become a blessing to God and to the
God’s standards do not change. The church does not live under the
old covenant law, but the righteousness of the law is still what God
wants to develop in our lives. 1 Peter 1:15-16 instructs us But just as
he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written:
"Be holy, because I am holy."
In verses 14-15, God continues to provide Israel with assurance
that His blessing will come to be fulfilled in the future. This is a
rebuttal to those today who claim that Israel has no place in the end
God wants to bless us if we remember our obligations to speak the
truth, to practice justice in the courts (v16), to honor His name by not
swearing falsely, and to love our neighbors every day (v17). All of the
law is fulfilled in our conduct when we practice the love commanded
to us in the two greatest commandments (Matt 22:36-40). God can
work in different ways in different times, but His character and
standards never change. He wants His people to be a holy nation (1
Peter 2:10). Therefore, love the truth and peace (Zech. 8:19). In
chapter 7, Sharezer and Regem-Melech came to ask Zechariah if they
should continue the fasting during the 5th month; God now answers
their question in 8:19. Those traditional fasts would in the future
become feasts and times of joy. We all like a glad feast.
God called Abraham back in Genesis 12:1-3, and established the
nation of Israel so His people would witness to the Gentiles and lead
them to faith in the true God. By setting apart one nation, God was
seeking to reach a whole world. When David killed Goliath, he
declared that God gave him victory so “that all the earth may know that
there is a God in Israel” (1 Sam. 17:46).
But Israel failed in bringing the nations of the world to worship
God; the Jews turned their back on Jehovah and worshipped the false
gods of the Gentile nations. Before we criticize the Jews too much, we
should examine the track record of the church when it comes to winning
the lost at home and taking the gospel to the world.
When the Return of the King comes, the Messiah will restore His
people and establish His kingdom. Then the Gentiles will trust the true
and living God and come to Jerusalem to worship Him (vs 20-22).
One of my favorite verses in Scripture is v23 when 10 men (a
Hebrew expression for “many men”) will take hold of one Jew and beg
to go with him to the temple. It is a wonderful experience when God so
blesses His people, that others want what God’s people have, because
they have heard that God is with us.
There is a bright and blessed future for God’s people, Israel, even
though the nation has been oppressed and persecuted by the Gentiles,
some of whom claim to be Christian. Our privilege is to love them,
pray for them, and tell them their Messiah, Jesus Christ, has come and
will save them if they trust in Him. The gospel of Christ is still the
power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first
and also for the Greek.