Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Return to me, and I will return to you

The Temple was built, but the enthusiasm waned. Years later, the only movement in the Temple was the wind. Zechariah, a younger contemporary of Haggai, was an encourager. Instead of just giving him the words to speak to the people, the Lord actually gave Zechariah many visions...and really cool visions at that! First he saw an angel on a red horse, with three horses and riders behind- who were "the ones the Lord has sent out to patrol the earth." (Zech 1:10) The Lord tells the angel that He has returned to show mercy to Jerusalem, and that the Temple will be rebuilt.
Then Zechariah looks up and sees four animal horns, which are representatives of the world powers that scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.
Then he sees four blacksmiths, who have come to terrify the four horns that scattered and humbled Judah.
Lastly, he sees a man with measuring tape, who is going to measure how wide and long Jerusalem is. Another angel appears with the good news that Jerusalem will one day be so full of people that it won't have enough room for everyone- and even those who live outside the walls will be protected!
The Lord says that He will live among them, that Jerusalem will be His own city. And my favorite verse, "Be silent before the Lord, all humanity, for He is springing into action from His holy dwelling." (Zech 2:13)

How does that relate to today? Well, I keep hearing statements like, "The Lord has removed His hand from us because our nation has moved so far away from His will." And that may very well be the case. But I take my feelings about the direction of our nation, and I think about the people of Jerusalem, who also saw their land go through complete destruction. In the end, the Lord restored it back to them, and He "sprung into action from His holy dwelling" by sending Jesus, the Messiah Himself, to be housed in the Temple. The Lord calls us to return to Him, and He will return to us. If we want Him to return to us, we must first return to Him. Think about yesterday's message- priorities. Our priority is to put Him first, thus returning to Him. And we can live in His peace knowing that He will live among us- He has chosen us- He is passionately in love with us! And that is the hope that can withstand seeing destruction- that will still stand when nothing else has- that will keep us in the palm of His hand. We are His, and even when everything else falls, He will stand- and we will stand because he dwells within us.

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