Wednesday 12 December 2018

Bible Book:

‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.’ (v 23)

Zechariah 8:20-23 Wednesday 12 December 2018

Psalm: Psalm 19


The book of Zechariah seems to divide into at least two sections. Today’s passage forms the conclusion, and the climax, of section one. We’ve seen that Zechariah was writing to a dispirited and scattered people. They sensed that their city, Jerusalem, which was the centre of their nation and the focus of their faith, was a ruined irrelevance to the rest of the world. As a result, their God was also powerless and forgotten.

Zechariah comes with a very different vision. Little insignificant Jerusalem would be restored. More importantly, the God of the nations, who was acknowledged and worshipped in Jerusalem, would be seen to be the living God and the one who did not abandon his people.

So the prophet writes of a time when citizens of other nations and cities, which on the surface seemed much more powerful and attractive than Jerusalem, would make reaching ‘little’ Jerusalem their priority. Furthermore, rather than attacking and despising the Jewish people (for anti-Semitism is not new), the Gentiles would ask them for help and company in discovering God.

This image of the nations making humble pilgrimage to Jerusalem can be found in other parts of the Hebrew Scriptures also. When the pilgrims arrive they are assured of God’s welcome. We should keep this picture in the back of our minds when, over the Christmas and Epiphany season, we read Matthew’s account of Magi coming from the East. It may also have encouraged St Paul as he sought to organise a collection among the nations for the poor in Jerusalem and travel there with Gentile representatives.


To Ponder:

  • The implication of today’s reading is that surprising people from surprising places will want to find out about the living God. Have you ever been surprised by people who have taken an unexpected interest in Christ?
  • What is it that helps others to appreciate that God is with us?
Previous Page Tuesday 11 December 2018
Next Page Thursday 13 December 2018