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Lowell Brueckner

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Sensitive to God


This study only attempts to bring out that which God has planted in the book of Zechariah. I see the words of our text below, sent from the heart of God with a design to draw from the heart of a true Christian a longing to be close to His heart, to feel what He feels. Only a true Christian can respond to that challenge, for only that person possesses the love for God, with which one can respond. Do you feel the tug at your heart strings?

As you read, have a Bible open to Zechariah, so that you can follow along verse by verse.

“I am exceedingly jealous for Zion, yes, with great wrath I am jealous for her.”
Zechariah 8:2

An expository study from Zechariah, chapter 8:1-9

The jealousy of the Lord

The Bible is the revelation of God in written form. No vision or dream will ever send a clearer message to your heart concerning His personality and attributes. From chapter 6 on, we have been studying revelations that have been spoken with the intention that they should be written. You will note that time and again the expression “the Lord of Hosts” is repeated (v.1). It is in almost every verse of chapter 8 and in some verses, it is found twice. I think that we ought to mention it every time that it appears and know the reason that it is used. I just read the Song of Moses in Exodus 15, where the Lord came against the army of Pharaoh and triumphed. When the divided waters of the Red Sea fell on the Egyptians, we see the Lord demonstrating that He utilizes His creation as an army to fight in His favor against the enemy. In this verse the Lord of Hosts relates to revelation. He moves heaven and earth in order to manifest His word and to keep it faithfully. His word is powerful; it is pure, refined seven times, as silver is refined (Ps.12:6).

In the preceding chapter, we studied the reason that Israel kept certain fasts. God questioned their motives, knowing that they were doing it for their own benefit. Now we find Him expressing His sentiments: “Thus says the Lord of hosts, I am exceedingly jealous for Zion!” (v.2) Does anyone care? We are moving now into something that is very close to the heart of God and it should be of great concern to us.  Are we sensitive to the Lord’s feelings? Do we care? God is obviously passionate towards His people. How about you and I? Do we have this passion for Him? I think that we fail as Christians, if we cannot feel what He feels in all circumstances.

In chapter 1:12-14, the Angel of the Lord intercedes, imploring the Lord of Hosts, and both express their love and jealousy for the people: “Then the angel of the Lord said, ‘O Lord of hosts, how long will You have no compassion for Jerusalem and the cities of Judah…?’ The Lord answered the angel who was speaking with me with gracious words, comforting words… Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘I am exceedingly jealous for Jerusalem and Zion.’” The Lord of Hosts speaks again in 2:8: “He who touches you, touches the apple of His eye.” He is expressing these things with a purpose in mind; He wants us to hear this. I am convinced that He is seeking intimacy with us.

The disciples remembered that the Scriptures wrote, concerning the Messiah, that “zeal for Your house will consume me” (Jn.2:17). They were citing Psalms 69:9 and the verse continues, “the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me”. It was Paul who quoted the second part of the verse in Romans 15:3. Christ let His own sentiments be dominated by those of His Father. I learned that the word Christian is a diminutive of Christ… a little Christ. If that is true, and if Christ lives in us, then we also should be very sensitive to God and the reproaches, in word and deed, committed against Him in these times, especially those that are related to His church. How many of those reproaches keep us awake at night? How many of the blasphemies, irreverent words and acts, and false doctrines in the church provoke our anger?

Meditate on all that God has planned, chosen and developed with great love, in order to have a people, so that He could be their God. In order to pray The Lord’s Prayer we must possess this longing for sensitivity, because it is based on the first two lines: “Hallowed be Your name; Your kingdom come.” That is the secret to praying in the will of God. If you are not sensitive to Him, you might repeat it and sing it as many times as you will, but you ought to know, in that condition, that those words are hypocritical. This prayer is for people who care for the name and kingdom of their Father.

The restoration

The Lord’s covenant with Samson depended on his obedience in not cutting his hair, but Samson broke the covenant. However, immediately his hair began to grow again. The God of the Bible is the God of restoration. Mount Zion will be restored (v.3) and the Lord will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. The name Jerusalem means the City of Peace; it will also be called The City of Truth, The Mountain of the Lord of Hosts, and The Holy Mountain. The prophets spoke clearly many times that, although the Lord will punish His people, He will never cast them away for ever (Is.54:7-10; Is.57:16; Jer.4:27; 5:10, 18; 31:37; 33:24-26; 46:28; Lam.3:31-32… it would be time well spent, in studying these verses and many more along the same line).

Due to the restoration of those characteristics mentioned in the last paragraph, the people of Jerusalem will arrive at advanced ages (v.4). The old men and women will rest in the plazas, living in peace. Their lives will not be cut short because of war, crimes, plagues and sicknesses. Many boys and girls will be playing in the streets and the squares (v.5). When the situation pleases the Lord, it’s good for everybody. This is how He wants it to be… that His people should be secure and happy.

The remnant is accustomed to barely surviving days that were very evil and this promise seems impossible to them. But remember, He that speaks is The Lord of Hosts, and He has a supernatural army prepared to make everything possible (v.6). May He grant that we see things through His eyes! Towards that purpose, we must develop more and more our relationship with Him. We must live close to His heart to be able to feel it beating and be sensitive to what He feels. Then, we will have the advantage to see things as He sees them and believing, experience His unlimited power. After the final and most terrible persecution against Israel, a remnant will come to experience precisely what we are reading here. They will reign in the peace and joy that comes from the Prince of Peace.

This prophecy is for the end times (v.7). There are many promises that speak of the Lord drawing His people from all parts of the earth. In the time of Zechariah, the people of Israel were estranged in a country to the northeast, put here it says that he will draw them, not only from the east, but from the land of the setting sun… that is, the west, such as Western Europe and the Americas. The Lord will bring them into downtown Jerusalem, where He reigns. It will be a people with their King (the King of Kings) in the midst (v.8). What a happy time! He will be their God and they will be His people, living according to His attributes of truth and righteousness.

The people in Zechariah’s times had to see that the things that were occurring and that the things with which they were involved were related to these prophecies. We, as well, in praying “Your kingdom come”, must be sure that we are involved with the eternal work that is leading toward the Millennium. Because of discouragement, the Jews left the foundation work of the temple, and the building stood idle (v.9). Now, through the word of God spoken by the prophets, it was time to put up the walls and raise the roof. In two years, the temple was completed (Ezra 6:15) and just before the time of Christ, Herod the Great impressively embellished and enlarged the same temple. It was to this temple that the Lord suddenly came, healing and teaching the full word of God to the people. This word will be the basis to the coming kingdom, of which we have been studying. It will give the impetus to building the third and final temple.   


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