God Will Not Forsake His Own

KEY VERSE: “They shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness.” —Zechariah 8:8

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Zechariah 2:1-12

ZECHARIAH had been an exile in Babylon who returned to Jerusalem after the end of the seventy years of captivity. He had the privilege of rendering service by stirring up the interest of the people to renew the work of rebuilding the temple. In this endeavor he had close contact with Joshua, the high priest, and Zerubbabal, a prince of Judah who directed the rebuilding project.

Since the Israelites had just returned from their captivity in Babylon, it was a fitting time to prophesy concerning a future period when they would return from a far more widespread captivity, a captivity which saw them scattered among all nations for a period of more than eighteen centuries. Since this later returning was to take place in connection with Messiah’s kingdom, its implication concerning Israel’s blessings, and also the blessings of all people, were far more profound.

The prophecies of Zechariah’s book show that at the time of the final return of Israel to the Promised Land, there would be great opposition against them, but the Lord assured their ultimate deliverance.

It is made clear in the prophecy that for the returned people of Israel to receive permanent blessings from the Lord it will be necessary for them to recognize their sin in rejecting Jesus at his first advent. Zechariah foretells that they will do this, and that being reestablished in their land, and receiving kingdom blessings through their cooperation with the earthly rulers, the Ancient Worthies, the happy lot of the people of Israel will be observed by the people of other nations, and they also will seek to receive blessings from the same source. In other words, Israel will become a showcase nation, and Zechariah’s prophecy confirms this: “Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem and to pray before the Lord. Thus saith the Lord of hosts, In those days it shall come to pass that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”—Zech. 8:12

The symbology of this language clearly conveys the thought that people worldwide will have an eye on Israel, and desire the same blessings. The statement that they will all come to Jerusalem, which would literally be impossible for the billions of people involved, simply expresses the fact that Gentile nations will recognize and be willing to cooperate with the kingdom authority of the Christ, which will be ruling over Jerusalem.

A government that can rule in “truth and righteousness” will be anew thing for the world. The vast majority of mankind long for such, and, as the Apostle Paul wrote, have groaned in their long centuries of waiting and disappointing experimentation with various forms of governments to achieve a happier existence. (Rom. 8:22) Many well-intentioned rulers, statesmen, and philosophers have striven for higher standards and utopian objectives, but have found them unobtainable, precluded by the dominating effects of evil brought upon mankind through the fall.

When the world witnesses the success of Christ’s kingdom in establishing a law of righteousness, and administered in such a way that people’s hearts are changed and a hope of everlasting life becomes possible, and material blessings flow from it, they will begin to realize that their long wait is over—that the desire of all people is come!

The words of our Key Verse, “They shall be my people, and I will be their God,” were transferred from this prophecy into the Book of Revelation where there is given a beautiful, graphic picture of the millennial kingdom government described as the New Jerusalem. Out of it a “great voice” is heard, a voice which reaches worldwide, and expresses God’s purposes to all men. It explains that his presence and favor will be restored, “He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people … and be their God.” (Rev. 20:1-3) The kind of earth God proposes through this new government will eliminate tears, death, sorrow, crying, and pain. “Behold, I make all things new.” Indeed, such conditions will be new to the world, and no doubt all men will be alert to what this “great voice” declares. It has often been said about men, that seeing is believing. When these things happen in Israel, men will begin to believe.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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