This morning I’m listening to Zechariah 2.
The prophet reminds me that God punished his people for tolerating injustice and oppression. He exiled them to Babylon, until his glory was re-established among them. But now the time of exile was over and God was ready once again to defend his precious people.
“After a period of glory, the LORD Almighty sent me against the nations who oppressed you. For he said, ‘Anyone who harms you harms my most precious possession. I will raise my fist to crush them, and their own slaves will plunder them.’ Then you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me.” (Zechariah 2:8-9 NLT’96)
You can understand this passage in terms of the fall of Babylon. You can hear the promise of Messiah, the one sent by the Almighty to “proclaim justice to the nations.” (Matthew 12:17-21)
But listen also for God’s heart about those who desire harm against the people of his First Covenant — and his New Testament people. Do you hear a warning for those who make themselves enemies of God’s people? Do you sense God’s judgment being meted out against our country today? Any people who tolerate injustice and oppression will find themselves crushed by God’s might.
The prophet delivers a word of warning from the LORD, but he also brings encouragement and hope:
“The LORD says, ‘Shout and rejoice, O Jerusalem, for I am coming to live among you. Many nations will join themselves to the LORD on that day, and they, too, will be my people. I will live among you, and you will know that the LORD Almighty sent me to you. The land of Judah will be the LORD’s inheritance in the holy land, and he will once again choose Jerusalem to be his own city. Be silent before the LORD, all humanity, for he is springing into action from his holy dwelling.'” (Zechariah 2:10-13 NLT’96)
The LORD springs into action to execute judgment, but he also rushes to live among his people and draw the nations to himself. God’s people are precious to him, his own inheritance in the world. If you are among them, you are his treasure.
Be silent before him, and watch in awe as he brings powerful oppressors to their knees. The Day of the Lord is not far away, nor is the coming of his New Jerusalem.