Zechariah 8 has the prophet hearing a direct word from the Lord. “I have returned to Zion and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem, and Jerusalem shall be called the faithful city, and the mountain of the Lord of hosts, the holy mountain”. God’s coming back. His people and city will be transformed by His presence. Because of God’s presence the city will be transformed into a place of truth and holiness. When God’s presence is real and embraced in our life, we become people of Truth and Holy people. God’s power in our lives makes us different people.
Zechariah assures them that things will change. They have been in bondage and scattered across the nations. But now they have been restored and while there were many who were unable to make the trip back, life will move toward normal again. “Old men and old women shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with staff in hand because of great age. And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets”. Young and old will be there and life will begin to return to normal.
God gives them a promise to cling to. “I will save my people from the east country and from the west country, and I will bring them to dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in faithfulness and in righteousness”. God promises a gathering from exile to come that will far surpass the present gathering. Not everyone has been able to come home, but that day is coming. The gathering God promises will not just be a physical gathering, but also a spiritual gathering. It won’t just be that their address changes, but their heart also.
Life changes when God is in control. God has promised His love and care for His people. They have returned to Jerusalem to live with Him there. When God is allowed to be our all, people notice. “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”. People are drawn to seeing God at work in us and through us. The prophet reminds people that their lives are on display and people are watching. It’s true for us today. People pay attention to how we live and what we do. Are you shining Jesus on those in your patch?