Zechariah 8:14-17, 20-23 (MSG)
14-17“In the same way that I decided to punish you when your ancestors made me angry, and didn’t pull my punches, at this time I’ve decided to bless Jerusalem and the country of Judah. Don’t be afraid. And now here’s what I want you to do: Tell the truth, the whole truth, when you speak. Do the right thing by one another, both personally and in your courts. Don’t cook up plans to take unfair advantage of others. Don’t do or say what isn’t so. I hate all that stuff. Keep your lives simple and honest.” Decree of God.
20-21“People and their leaders will come from all over to see what’s going on. The leaders will confer with one another: ‘Shouldn’t we try to get in on this? Get in on God’s blessings? Pray to God-of-the-Angel-Armies? What’s keeping us? Let’s go!’
22“Lots of people, powerful nations—they’ll come to Jerusalem looking for what they can get from God-of-the-Angel-Armies, looking to get a blessing from God.”
23“At that time, ten men speaking a variety of languages will grab the sleeve of one Jew, hold tight, and say, ‘Let us go with you. We’ve heard that God is with you.’”
After being in exile for 70 years, the people of Jerusalem and Judah received a promise of God’s incredible blessing: God will be with His people! But also along with (and because of) that, people from many powerful nations will come from all over to receive God’s blessing through them. But there is a condition; they are to live as His people in truth and honesty.
Today, we are able to live in a greater realization of that blessing through the life, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Through His work on the cross, we have the Holy Spirit living in us! But we are also called to live as God’s people. And as God’s people, we are called to worship Him with the whole of our lives. This is then reflected in our relationship with others.
Responding to the transmitted message:
True fasting and worship will naturally result in hearts that are close to God. It will also result in healthy, joyful, and abundant communities, where people will come because they hear that God is with us and with us, they are loved and taken care of. Let’s pray that God will continue to give our communities hearts that desire to worship Him with the whole of our lives let’s ask Him to continue to build our communities into places where people are loved and taken care of.