Summary: Exposition of Zech. 8
God’s Passion for His People
Author and pastor Max Lucado writes in his book A Gentle Thunder:
If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it. If he had a wallet, your photo would be in it. He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning. Whenever you want to talk, he’ll listen. He can live anywhere in the universe, and he chose your heart… Face it, friend. He’s crazy about you.
Does that sound a little farfetched to you? I mean, we all sing “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so”- but does He really like me that much? Is He really “crazy about you”? I wonder how many of us think of God’s love in such terms. Does He really like being around us? Does He really enjoy seeing us laugh and smile and enjoy ourselves? Is He really emotionally involved when it comes to our lives?
The answer is yes. God is passionate about His people. God is emotionally involved with His people. Or to put it in more Biblical terms, God is passionate for His people- even when they have failed Him.
When the prophet Zechariah proclaimed God’s message to Jewish exiles reconstructing the Temple in Jerusalem, he describes God’s passion for His people in beautiful words that are meant to encourage and lift up their spirits. In vs. 2, God says He is zealous/jealous for His people.
Zechariah 8:2…My love for Mount Zion is passionate and strong; I am consumed with passion for Jerusalem!
How is God passionate for His people? Zech. describes 4 aspects of God’s passionate love for His people:
I. HE IS PASSIONATE ABOUT LIVING IN US. (v. 2-8)
For almost 70 years, the city of Jerusalem has been a ghost town, the Temple where once God’s Presence dwelt was nothing but rubble. Nobody would live here, the Jews thought, not even God. The dream God had once promised would never come true:
Leviticus 26:12 I will walk among you; I will be your God, and you will be my people.
Now the exiles try to rebuild, but will it ever be the same again? Will God ever live among them again? Does He really want to? Through Zechariah God answers Yes!
God says He has returned to live with His people, to identify with them so much Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and God’s Holy Mountain (v. 3). Once again God wants the cities to be full of elderly people who walk the streets and children who aren’t afraid to play. God asks in vs. 6 is this promise too good to be true? No!
He will bring His people back to their homeland, and according to vs. 8 …they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. They shall be My people And I will be their God…
Can you hear the eager anticipation in God’s Words? This is what He longs for, what He can’t wait for. He is passionate about living in and among His people. Imagine how encouraging these words were to the Jews working on the Temple. God hasn’t abandoned us! God really does love us! He really does want to live in us and among us!
God is passionate about living in us, also.
He is passionate about living in your life. God does not want a long-distance relationship with you—He wants to walk and talk with you moment by moment, living in the awareness of His constant love and fellowship.
John 14:23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.
He is passionate about living among us in His church. The Lord is always with us, but you and I experience Him in a special way when we gather together in His Name.
Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.
It excites Him, it delights Him, it’s what He has always wanted—to live in and among His people. The question is: are you and I as passionate about God living in us and among us as He is? We should be.
Frank Laubach, born in the United States in 1884, was a missionary to the illiterate, teaching them to read so they could know the beauty of the Scriptures. He once wrote: Can we have that contact with God all the time? All the time awake, fall asleep in His arms, and awaken in His presence? Can we attain that? Can we do His will all the time? Can we think His thoughts all the time? … Can I bring the Lord back in my mind-flow every few seconds so that God shall always be in my mind? I choose to make the rest of my life an experiment in answering this question.