Beginning with chapter 8, the book of Zechariah takes a radical turn.
A series of messages sent from the Lord tells the future of the world and the role of God’s people in it. Some of the passages from these chapters are not easy to understand, but the ultimate future is clearly positive.
Read Zechariah 8. What principles can you learn from there that have relevance for us, as Seventh-day Adventists, and the calling from God that we have been given?
God’s plan was that Jerusalem would again be a safe place in which old people would sit in the streets filled with playful boys and girls (Zech. 8:4-5). To those who inhabited a city overrun by conquerors, the promise of streets safe for young and old sounded like a dream.
Instead of remaining forever a small subordinate nation, God’s people were to be a magnet to which nations would be drawn in order to worship the Lord, King of the whole earth (Zech. 14:9). The use of the expression “all languages” (NIV) in Zechariah 8:23 indicates that the prophecy envisioned a universal movement.
Like Isaiah (Isaiah 2) and Isaiah’s contemporary Micah (Micah 4), Zechariah was shown by God that the day would come when a multitude of people from many cities and nations would go up to Jerusalem to pray and seek the Lord. God’s presence in Zion generally will be recognized, as will His blessings on those who worship Him.
The gospel accounts tell that these Messianic promises began to be fulfilled through the ministry of Jesus Christ. On one occasion, for example, Jesus said that when He is lifted up from the earth, He “will draw all peoples” to Himself (John 12:32, NKJV).
The church of Christ, also called the “Israel of God” (Gal. 6:16), is privileged in our time to have a part in this mission. We are to carry the light of salvation to the ends of the earth. In this way the people of God can be a great blessing to the world.
Read especially Zechariah 8:16-17. At a time when our church is seeking revival and reformation, how can we learn to avoid these things, which God says He hates?