READ: Zechariah 1-2
BACKGROUND: The name Zechariah means “The LORD (Yahweh) remembers” and it uniquely fits the purpose of the book. Zechariah was a priest writing to the people of Judah after they’d been allowed to return from the exile and rebuild the temple. The book is an encouragement and a call to the people to continue building the temple and not give up, a reminder that if they turn back to God he promises to be faithful and present, a reminder that God is in control, and ultimately a prophecy about God’s faithfulness to his promise to look after Israel through the coming Messiah.
THINK: Reread Zechariah 2:1-5, 10-13 from The Message, noting the exclamation points:
I looked up and was surprised to see
a man holding a tape measure in his hand.
I said, “What are you up to?”
“I’m on my way,” he said, “to survey Jerusalem,
to measure its width and length.”
Just then the Messenger-Angel on his way out
met another angel coming in and said,
“Run! Tell the Surveyor, ‘Jerusalem will burst its walls—
bursting with people, bursting with animals.
And I’ll be right there with her’—God’s Decree—‘a wall of fire
around unwalled Jerusalem and a radiant presence within.’”
“Shout and celebrate, Daughter of Zion!
I’m on my way. I’m moving into your neighborhood!”
Many godless nations will be linked up with God at that time. (“They will become my family! I’ll live in their homes!”) And then you’ll know for sure that God-of-the-Angel-Armies sent me on this mission. God will reclaim his Judah inheritance in the Holy Land. He’ll again make clear that Jerusalem is his choice.
Quiet, everyone! Shh! Silence before God. Something’s afoot in his holy house. He’s on the move!
The prophet Zechariah receives several visions from God and writes about them in detail in the beginning of the book. Take the next several minutes to ponder this vision. In the interaction God says, “Shout and celebrate, Daughter of Zion! I’m on my way. I’m moving into your neighborhood!” Consider God’s incredible plan to send his Son, Jesus, to live among us. What comes to mind as you think about God’s pursuing his people enough to move literally into their neighborhood?
“Quiet, everyone! Shh! Silence before God. Something’s afoot in his holy house. He’s on the move!” What fills your mind as you consider that God is active in human history? How is that reality different from what other people, the media, and our culture say about God’s involvement in the world?
What does God’s activity say about his character? How do you respond to this type of God?
PRAY: Allow the reality of a loving God pursuing his people, on the move and moving into your neighborhood, guide your prayers right now. What would your world be like if God moved into the house, apartment, or building next door to you? Allow your communication with God to flow out of your thoughts.
LIVE: As you walk or drive in your neighborhood, consider the implications for your life of having God residing in your – our! – midst. And thank God for the fact that he actively pursues you!
– Adapted from Eugene Peterson in Solo