Good Morning! My name is Elaine Gerstenberger and I was asked to give you a devotional thought from the book of Zechariah chapters 7 and 8.
7 Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Behold, I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country;
8 And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness.
9 Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Let your hands be strong, ye that hear in these days these words by the mouth of the prophets, which were in the day that the foundation of the house of the Lord of hosts was laid, that the temple might be built.
10 For before these days there was no hire for man, nor any hire for beast; neither was there any peace to him that went out or came in because of the affliction: for I set all men every one against his neighbour.
11 But now I will not be unto the residue of this people as in the former days, saith the Lord of hosts.
12 For the seed shall be prosperous; the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground shall give her increase, and the heavens shall give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things.
13 And it shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah, and house of Israel; so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing: fear not, but let your hands be strong.
REFLECTIONS: First of all, we should not confuse the Zechariah of the New Testament with this prophet of the Old Testament. In fact, the Bible mentions twenty-eight other men with this name. The one we are reading about is a minor prophet. Prophets proclaimed the word of the Lord, pointed out sin, explained its consequences, and called men and women to repent to the Lord! At times, God gave these prophets visions about the future to tell the people, and so that we could look back and have “proof” that prophecy had been fulfilled. Zechariah told of the Messiah, the rebuilding of the temple, and that their King was coming.
Judah and Benjamin are now all that is left of the Jewish tribes. They were captured by Babylon for seventy years and are now released. Some have returned to Jerusalem and are starting to rebuild the temple. Their work is being sabotaged and they are weary and discouraged. Zechariah is not only their prophet, he is their priest! He foretold more prophecies sent to him by God to encourage them.
I know I was supposed to pick one verse. It was the whole passage that pierced my heart and soul! Then – I GOT IT!! This prophecy is for now! Let me sum it up: God yearns to return to Jerusalem to walk among His people. He desires us. He misses us! We keep getting it wrong! He says that we’ve given up – on Him! He is the Almighty One! He will rescue us! He will bring us home again! We need to finish His work. Build the temple by searching for lost souls. There may be no jobs and it may not be a safe world, but He says, “Don’t be discouraged! Don’t be afraid!” Get on with God’s work! He is coming to rescue us, and there will be joy and celebration! So, love truth! Love peace!
Thank you for being a part of the Route 66 Bible Reading Challenge. Thanks for reading, and you have a blessed day!
FAVORITE BIBLE BOOK: 1 & 2 Samuel
FAMILY: Son and Wife, Brian & Tara Gerstenberger; Son in Law and Daughter, Jason & Kelly Richey; grandchildren: Angelina, Isaac, Olivia, Ezekiel, and Emma
OCCUPATION: Opportunity Enterprises: I am a nurse who works with Developmentally Delayed Adults
MINISTRY INVOLVEMENT AT VBC: Women’s Ministry
DREAM VACATION: Disney World!!