-There is a coming peace, truth, and prosperity to Jerusalem once again. This is the overriding theme of chapter 8 as the prophet receives more encouraging words from the LORD for His Jewish remnant. Yahweh is exceeding jealous for Zion with great wrath when they turn away from Him. Yet, His mercy and promises stay faithful to overhaul and redeem the mess that had become of the earthly Davidic Kingdom. God promises to return to Zion and dwell in the midst of Jerusalem, the place that will be called “the City of Truth” and “the Holy Mountain (Zechariah 8:1-3).” Old men and women will again sit in the streets and children will play with joy. These things are not too for the LORD. He will save His people and bring them back from the lands of the east and west. They will live in Jerusalem and be His people, and He will again be their God in truth and righteousness (Zechariah 8:4-8). God tells them then to let their “hands be strong” as they listen to the words of the prophets who spoke in the day that the Temple foundation was laid until it was completed. Before that time, God “had set all men one against another.” Now however, he will treat the remnant with a spirit of unity. There will be “peace for the seed: the vine will yield its fruit, the land will yield its produce and the heavens will give their dew; and I (the LORD) will cause the remnant of this people to inherit all these things (Zechariah 8:9-12).” The nation viewed as a curse and taunt of God will rebound and be saved by Him so that they become a blessing. Therefore, the LORD says, “Do not fear; let your hands be strong (Zechariah 8:13).” We see the complexity of God here as He describes His purposeful-unrelenting wrath and harm upon His disobedient and provoking people for a season. Yet, He takes pity and purposes to in “these days” do good to Jerusalem and Judah in general. Therefore, He states again, “Do not fear (Zechariah 8:14-15)!”
-Then God gives His people some things that they should do. They should speak the truth to each other. They should judge with truth and judgment for peace in the gates. They should never devise evil in their hearts for one another. They should not love perjury (the voluntary violation of an oath or vow either by swearing to what is untrue or by omission to do what has been promised under oath : false swearing- from Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 2015). These are all things that the LORD hates (Zechariah 8:16-17). Then the LORD tells his prophet to relay the information that His people are to celebrate their fasts with joy, gladness, and cheerful feasts at the end of their time of fasting for the purpose of loving truth and peace. God promises that the days are coming when peoples from all over the world will come to entreat the favor of the LORD and seek Him in Jerusalem because they observe and know that God is truly with them (Zechariah 8:18-23).
-*Application* God loves His chosen people and we should too. These days are the fulfillment of what Zechariah wrote. It happened in part in the time of Zechariah with the return to the land and the coming of Messiah Jesus, but it will be completely fulfilled in these days as the Jews return and tourism increases with Christians of faith coming and seeing the work of God in this land. It is happening; I’ve been there and seen it with my own eyes! God is with Israel for the long haul. He will never permanently forsake them. His Word is true and nothing will subvert it.
Verses to Memorize: Zechariah 8:8, 15