“And the word of the LORD of hosts came to me, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts: The fast of the fourth month and the fast of the fifth and the fast of the seventh and the fast of the tenth shall be to the house of Judah seasons of joy and gladness and cheerful feasts. Therefore, love truth and peace. Thus says the LORD of hosts: Peoples shall yet come, even the inhabitants of many cities. The inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, ‘Let us go at once to entreat the favor of the LORD and to seek the LORD of hosts; I myself am going.’ Many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favor 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.’”
There are times when our lives are surrounded by brokenness, a history of hurts, and difficult seasons. The Jewish people fasted in the fourth, the fifth, the seventh, and the tenth month to commemorate times of brokenness and difficult seasons. However, look at the hope that the good news of God brings! He promises to transform their fasting to feasting. He promises that instead of sorrow, they will experience satisfaction in the Lord. Instead of grief there will be gladness. Instead of sadness there will be joy! The encouragement of the prophet to the people of God is to love truth and peace. Of course, the prophet is ultimately prophesying about the coming of Jesus Christ – the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Jesus is the one that brings peace, in fact, it is His peace He gives to us according to the gospel of John.
How do we know this is about Jesus? The Lord, in His grace, is reminding His people that the promise that was given to Abraham, that every nation will be blessed through the seed of Abraham, is about to be fulfilled. The return to Jerusalem in this text is setting up the birth of Jesus, the coming Messiah! Listen to the promise of God, “Thus says the LORD of hosts: Peoples shall come even the inhabitants of many cities. The inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, ‘Let us go at once to entreat the favor of the LORD and to seek the LORD of hosts'.” He goes on to describe “many peoples” and “strong nations” and explains that they will “take hold of the robe of a Jew, saying ‘Let us go with you.’” This picture is that Jesus came first to the Jew then to the Gentile. It’s what Paul is thinking about as he writes, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16). This is good news: Christ has come for everyone!
Today, the Lord Jesus has given us the opportunity to celebrate His grace! He has provided for us an opportunity to love truth and peace in Jesus Christ! He is wanting to transform your tragedies into triumphant moments for the glory of God! He is allowing us to have peace in difficult times, because we know the truth of His word and the power of His presence! To the family of Woodmont Baptist Church – stay faithful, there is a wonderful banquet ahead! Stay alert – the enemy wants to steal, kill, and destroy! Stay near the Shepherd – He leads us down paths of righteousness for His name’s sake! Be encouraged – There are “many people” and “many strong nations” that are enduring for the name of Jesus right now! Be prayerful – may God bless His people, and may we remain united in Him!
You Are Loved,