Bible Book: Zechariah / Saggaria
Verse (to): 17
Text: Zechariah 1:7-17
The first eight chapters of this book of the prophet form a unit. I noticed that the first and last chapters of this unit contain a declaration of love from God to his covenant people. In 1:14 we read, Then the angel who was speaking to me said, “Proclaim this word: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘I am very jealous for Jerusalem and Zion …’” And in 8:2-3, “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘I am very jealous for Zion; I am burning with jealousy for her. … I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the Lord Almighty will be called the Holy Mountain.’”
The Lord is declaring his passion, his concern, his involvement, his caring and his love for Israel at a time that they are longing for Him to step in and deliver them from their enemies. Perhaps they have complained about God’s anger that had been on them for the past 70 years (cf verse 12), that the temple still hadn’t been rebuilt, (cf verse 16) and that things were going so well for the other nations while they were suffering (cf verse 15a).
Even though the Israelites thought that God was standing aloof, and even though the horsemen on the four horses reported that nothing was happening to change Israel’s destiny (Zech 1:11), the Lord is giving the assurance that He is worried about his people and that He will surely intervene.
It is never easy to wait for God’s intervention. The RCL’s Scriptures for this Sunday is, amongst others, Job 23 and Ps 22. In both these readings we hear about the longing for God and the prayers for his intervention.
When we realise that HIV and AIDS have been known for almost 26 years and that the forecasts, which had been dismissed as “doom prophecies” during the early eighties, have indeed come true, we also long for God’s intervention. Believers have to pray, long for and wait upon God’s intervention in the midst of the AIDS pandemic.
That is why God’s declaration of love in Zech 1:14 and 8:2-3 is a wonderful comfort to us in times like these. The whole Scripture assures us that God is really concerned about his children, and about all the people who have been created in his image.
Author: N du Toit (Ds)