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Summary: The incentive of future blessings is held out to the present as reason for repenting and living a heart-emanating kind, compassionate and righteous life. So here we have the assurance of full kingdom blessing for Zion and Jerusalem.

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ZECHARIAH 8:1-8

"THE CITY OF TRUTH"

The remnant people have been told what disobedience to the Word of God had brought to pre-exiled Israel and what it would bring to them in chapter seven. In chapter eight they are told the glorious blessings of what repentance and obedience to the Word of God would bring. The previous strong rebuke prepares the way for this positive portion. God’s nature demands He judge continued unfaithfulness but His delight is to bless His people. It is the same old theme throughout the Old Testament that where there is obedience there will be blessings and where there is continued disobedience there will be judgment.

The incentive of future blessings is held out to the present as reason for repenting and living a heart-emanating kind, compassionate and righteous life. So here we have the assurance of full kingdom blessing for Zion and Jerusalem.

I. THE ZEAL OF LOVE, 1-2.

II. THE RESULTS OF HIS RETURN, 3-6.

III. THE GATHERING OF HIS PEOPLE, 7-8.

Chapter seven, particularly verses 8-14 looked back into the past and applied the lessons taught by history to the contemporary scene of its day. Chapter eight envisions the future but applies the lessons taught by prophecy to the contemporary scene of the prophet’s own day. It applies the magnificent far-distant (millennial) hope as the basis for immediate inspiration and encouragement of the people of Zechariah’s day afflicted as they were by poverty, hardship, and persecution. Thus we have an important lesson concerning prophetic Scriptures. The exposition of prophetic Scriptures should be intertwined with moral applications and spiritual challenges to its present day audience.

I. THE ZEAL OF LOVE, 1-2.

A new word from the Lord in verse 1 makes this a new section. "Then the Word of the Lord of Hosts came saying,"

Here again, as in chapter seven, the claim is divine revelation. This Word is not of, or from themselves but from the mouth of the Lord. Over ten times in this chapter the name Lord of Armies occurs and some twenty two times the name LORD or YHWH occurs.

So wonderful are these promises, so outstanding are these blessings prophesied that the doubtfulness of man refuses to accept them. Thus every single one of them was guaranteed by the omnipotent God and the repetition of divine names in these promises emphasizes the certainty of their fulfillment.

In verse 2 we encounter the first of ten usages in chapter eight of the prophetic announcement, "Thus saith the LORD of Hosts." "Thus says the LORD of Hosts, ‘I am exceedingly jealous for Zion, yes with great wrath I am jealous for her."

Once again thus says the LORD of Hosts. The repetition of this divine title, the Lord of Armies, buttresses the divine authority behind the assertion (1 Sam. 17:45). The One who has marshaled the armies of both the terrestrial and celestial spheres gives this Word.

He is "exceeding jealous for Zion." The word "jealous" denotes color produced in the face by deep emotion - becoming intensely red, an arduous, zealous passion. In fact our English word jealous is from the Latin word zelus - zeal.

Zion is the place of spiritual leadership. Because His love for Zion is so great He is jealous on her account. The zeal of His strong love for Zion’s welfare leads Him to come to her rescue when enemies afflict her. His jealousy comes with great wrath (hot, heat or fury). The thought is that His jealously is displayed in punishing those who hate Him or His people. (Ex. 20:5; Duet. 5:9).

The community’s repentance will cause a distinct change in the direction of His wrath. The great wrath had been against pre-exilic Israel and a warning had just been issued that it could turn against the remnant if its worship was not sincere or not out of the heart (7:14). Now the wrath is turned to protect and cherish a remnant. God will not allow anyone or anything to disrupt His desire to see them blessed (Ezek. 36:5-6; Joel 2:18; Nah. 1:2). Thus the contrast of past, the present, and the future is made.

[Zion denotes the spiritual center of Jerusalem. The basic distinguishing fact about Zion was God’s divine presence. Zion was also used to describe the place of the LORD’s future redemption (Isa. 4:5; 28:16; 33:5, 20; 62:1), where He will come as Savior (Isa. 24:23; 59:20). The name of the place is frequently extended to denote its inhabitants (Isa. 51:16).

The fervent love of YHWH for His people will manifest itself not only in His wrath and indignation against legalistic religion and an oppressive world system but also in the maturing of personal relationship with Him.]

II. THE RESULTS OF HIS RETURN, 3-6.

Verse 3 prophesies Jesus’ return to Zion. "Thus says the LORD, ‘I will return to Zion and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem, then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the LORD of Hosts will be called the Holy Mountain.’"

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