Daily Reading and thought for December 20th. “THE LORD WHO HAS CHOSEN JERUSALEM REBUKE YOU”


We have started reading the prophet Zechariah and before that we read the two chapters of Haggai.  We recall that these were the 2 prophets named by Ezra in his book that we read last month. Ezra had been dismayed at the lack of progress in rebuilding the temple when he arrived back from captivity and noted how “the people of the land discouraged the people of Judah” [Ezra 4 v.4] but later “the elders of the Jews built and prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah” [6 v.14]

Haggai had rebuked them, “Is it time for yourselves to dwell in your panelled houses while this house (the temple) lies in ruins.  Now therefore, thus says the LORD of Hosts: Consider your ways” [1 v.4].  It seems to us there is a kind of parallel with the lack of spirituality in modern Israel after their return to the land: they are failing to consider their ways.

In our reading in Zechariah we have the intriguing statement that heads these thoughts.[Ch.3 v.2]. The Lord is rebuking “Satan” – but who is this Satan?  We have previously seen that satan means adversary or accuser as our Bible notes indicate in relation to this verse.  In many other places the context indicates who the adversaries are – they are humans.  Therefore the LORD, because Jerusalem is his chosen city, is rebuking those who oppose its restoration – the same now as we are on the verge of seeing its full restoration.

What is most intriguing about Zechariah’s prophecies is that while he is initially addressing the situation then, 2,500 years ago, God causes him to have visions and make prophecies of future events surrounding both the first and second comings of his Son,  the Lord Jesus.  He also has visions of the ultimate glory of Jerusalem such as in today’s reading. “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for behold I come and I will dwell in your midst, declares the LORD.  And many nations shall join themselves to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people … And the LORD … will again choose Jerusalem.” [Ch. 2 v.10-12]

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