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Speaking Truth to our Neighbour (Zechariah 8)

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CHAPTER 8 Dec. 23 
Yahweh Promises to Bless Jerusalem 
The word of Yahweh of Armies came to me. 2Thus says Yahweh of Armies: I am jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I am jealous for her with great wrath.  3Thus says Yahweh: I have returned to Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be called ‘The City of Truth;’ and the mountain of Yahweh of Armies, ‘The Holy Mountain’.  4Thus says Yahweh of Armies: Old men and old women will again dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, every man with his staff in his hand for very age. 5The streets of the city will be full of boys and girls playing in its streets.  6Thus says Yahweh of Armies: If it is too hard in the eyes of the remnant of this people in those days, should it also be too hard in My eyes? says Yahweh of Armies.  7Thus says Yahweh of Armies: Behold, I will save My people from the east country, and from the west country; 8and I will bring them, and they will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness.  9Thus says Yahweh of Armies: Let your hands be strong, you who hear in these days these words from the mouth of the prophets who were in the day that the foundation of the house of Yahweh of Armies was laid, even the temple, that it might be built. 10For before those days there were no wages for man, nor any wages for an animal; neither was there any peace to him who went out or came in, because of the adversary. For I set all men everyone against his neighbour. 11But now I will not be to the remnant of this people as in the former days, says Yahweh of Armies. 12For they will sow their seed in peace and the vine will yield its fruit, and the ground will give its increase, and the skies will give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to inherit all these things. 13It shall come to pass that, as you were a curse among the nations, house of Judah and house of Israel, so will I save you, and you shall be a blessing. Don’t be afraid. Let your hands be strong.  14For thus says Yahweh of Armies: As I thought to do evil to you, when your fathers provoked Me to wrath, says Yahweh of Armies, and I didn’t repent; 15so again have I thought in these days to do good to Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. Don’t be afraid. 16These are the things that you shall do: speak every man the truth with his neighbour. Execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates, 17and let none of you devise evil in your hearts against his neighbour, and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, says Yahweh.  18The word of Yahweh of Armies came to me. 19Thus says Yahweh of Armies: The fasts of the fourth, fifth, seventh and tenth months shall be for the house of Judah joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts. Therefore love truth and peace.  20Thus says Yahweh of Armies: Many peoples, and the inhabitants of many cities will yet come; 21and the inhabitants of one shall go to another, saying, ‘Let us go speedily to entreat the favour of Yahweh, and to seek Yahweh of Armies. I will go also’. 22Yes, many peoples and strong nations will come to seek Yahweh of Armies in Jerusalem, and to entreat the favour of Yahweh. 23Thus says Yahweh of Armies: In those days, ten men will take hold, out of all the languages of the nations, they will take hold of the skirt of him who is a Jew, saying, ‘We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you’.


8:2 God’s enormous love for us His people explains why He is also so jealous over us, and why at times He has so much anger relating to us. Every thought or action of unfaithfulness or denial of Him is indescribably painful to Him.    
8:3 Ezra 6:14 says that the captives who returned from Babylon to rebuild Jerusalem prospered in their work and were inspired to it by the prophecies of Zechariah. He encouraged their hands to be strong in the work (8:13). Here in v. 3 God says that He has already returned to Zion (the temple mount); and so those who returned were as it were following Him. This prophecy that Jerusalem would surely be rebuilt would’ve encouraged the builders as they worked against so many obstacles and so much discouragement from within and without.
8:6 This question touches upon the psychology of the reason why we find it hard to believe God. We assume that if something is too hard for us, then it must be too hard for God. We assume that God is a man, just a bit bigger and wiser and more powerful than us, but broadly within our limitations. Thus we make God after our own image, instead of realizing that we are made in His image. Of course, we do this only subconsciously. The unlimited almightiness of God is what true faith accepts.