For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye. —Zechariah 2:8
I started reading the Old Testament book of Zechariah today. It’s a beautiful book of hope and encouragement. I’d invite you to read it and recognize yourself as “the apple of His eye” .
The people of Israel, or at least about 50,000 of them, having been released from slavery and bondage, were now back home in Jerusalem to rebuild the city and the temple. But there were some complications.
While rebuilding the temple, they all recognized the new temple could never be as great as the original temple. That broke their hearts. There was another problem… there was no king from David’s family. These and other factors made the people distraught and discouraged.
But what really stood out to me were the promises God told the people.
Now, let’s understand something about a promise. When we promise something, there have probably been times when we went back on our word or renegotiated the original declaration. But God can’t do that. You do know that if God ever broke a promise, He would cease to be God. He can’t go back on His Word. He can’t change His mind. The Bible even tells us,
“For I, the LORD, do not change…” —Malachi 3:6
In another place it says…
“Also the Glory of Israel will not lie or change His mind; for He is not a man that He should change His mind.” —1 Samuel 15:29
That’s in reference to God.
So God makes a couple of promises to His people in their time of downheartedness and hopelessness. Here’s what He says through the prophet Zechariah:
“The LORD Himself has promised to be a protective wall of fire surrounding Jerusalem, and He will be its shining glory in the heart of the city.” —Zechariah 2:5
And then in verse 10…
“The LORD has promised to come and live with you.” —Zechariah 2:10
God wasn’t about to let His people live in dejection and disappointment. He knew that depression and despair would set in and the rebuilding of the city and the temple would never happen. He didn’t bring them back to this time and this place for them to be defeated. So He promised to be a wall of fire around them, and promised to live with them. And He did!
Here’s my word of encouragement for you today
It’s very easy to be overcome by the events of life, especially when we suffer loss of some kind. It’s even easier to be swept away with lack of confidence when our spirit is low and laid bare. But God made a promise. He will be that wall of fire that surrounds you. His glory is still shining in your heart. He has come to live with you. He’s done all that through His Son, Jesus Christ. It’s His promise and God always keeps all His promises.
Thank You for being the One and Only Promise Keeper. I know You’re living with me today and everything is going to be good. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen
Mark was Spiritual Director for VdC from 2016 to 2019. He's written many of the devotions, especially the Devote and Affirm series, found on this website.