Todays readings ..  Job 31&32, Zechariah 8, Revelation 5&6


    All five of today’s chapters listed for our reading are specially thought provoking. Job reaches the climax of his responses to the faulty reasoning of his “friends” silencing them. Then in Zechariah we saw God’s clear latter day prophecies – and in Revelation some dramatic words to describe the climax of life on this earth.

    The 8th chapter in Zechariah stirred our thoughts. He writes down a sequence of statements of events that will one day happen – each preceded by “Thus says the LORD of Hosts” [v.2,4,6,7,9,14, 20 & 23]  Zechariah has returned from captivity to Zion, i.e. Jerusalem, but God now causes him to see and pen prophecies looking much further into the future.  God says “I will not deal with the remnant of this people as in the former days … For there shall be a sowing of peace.” [v.11,12]

    Next, God states, “I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things … let your hands be strong” [v.12,13]   When we were young in the 1940’s Israel was dramatically restored as a nation, an event that followed the approval of the U.N. in 1947,  but since then there has been endless friction.  

Some students of God’s word have made unwise statements about what they believe is about to happen next – but we have learnt that prophecy is not given to us to make us clever so we can precisely pronounce on events to happen in the immediate future.  The New Testament illustrates this; in Matthew’s Gospel in particular there are comments on the fulfilment of specific prophecies which could not have been foreseen, in their specific context, beforehand.

    However, the time will surely come, as the end of our Zechariah chapter states, when “many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favour of the LORD.  Thus says the LORD of Hosts: In those days’ ten men from the nations of every tongue shall take hold of the robe of a Jew, saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.’” [Ch. 8 v.22-23]

    To this we can add what we read in Revelation; the song that will be sung to Jesus, returned as king of the Jews and of the world, “ … by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom of priests to our God and they shall reign on the earth.” {Ch. 5 v.9,10]  What an utterly awesome future for those “ransomed”!  May we so live now, in faith and humility that we, by our Lord’s grace, will be among them.