Day 2 – Arise and Build
Read Zech 1:1-6
Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Return to Me,” declares the Lord of hosts, “that I may return to you,” says the Lord of hosts. 4 “Do not be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets proclaimed, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Return now from your evil ways and from your evil deeds.” Zech 1:3-4
Zechariah was most likely born during the Babylonian exile. His name means “Yahweh remembers.” He came back with the first wave of returnees to Jerusalem in 536 BC. His grandfather, Iddo, was a priest, and Zechariah became one of the leading priests in the restoration community. As a prophet, he received his first message and began preaching in the eighth month of 520 BC, the year the people resumed working on the temple. Zechariah and Haggai’s messages complement each other. Haggai’s messages focused on rebuilding the temple and reestablishing God’s Dwelling place among His people while Zechariah’s messages encouraged the repentance and awakening that was necessary to make that happen. This book contains eight night visions that Zechariah received to inspire hope and courage to God’s people. At this time, they felt discouraged and uncertain that their efforts were making any difference. Zechariah’s messages cast God’s vision not only for them but for the distant future. He was giving them an eternal perspective and reassuring them that their work was not in vain. This book, more than any other Old Testament book, looks forward to the second coming of the Messiah and the future of Jerusalem. Angelic interpretation of the messages is given to aid in understanding the vision of the future.
Verse 3 of the first chapter states the major theme of the entire book. God says, “Return to me and I will return to you.” Throughout the book, God reveals that He will make the way for people to return to Him, namely by sending His Son, and if they will respond to Him in this way, then He will live among them and be their God.
As we read the book of Zechariah, we take note of the fact that the word was applicable in Zechariah’s day. The people of that generation were rebuilding a physical temple in Jerusalem and they needed encouragement. Their enemies were real, in the flesh and in their face. It was a difficult time for them.
However, this book is a prophetic picture of the end times generation. If we cry out to God for revelation, we will understand how to interpret this book for the things we are now facing. God gave us this treasure and He expects us to use it. When we ask for the revelation that He already promised He would give, then we will know how to build His Kingdom in our day. We must embrace God’s Word and trust His timing. Just like David caught sight of the glory of the coming Messiah and established a new kind of tabernacle in His day, we are able to pull down revelation and establish it in our day. The visions of Zechariah and other end-time prophecies describe the ultimate fulfillment of the Jews receiving Jesus as their Messiah and Him coming back to Jerusalem. His second coming is the event we all long to experience, but we must not miss the opportunity that we have now to begin to build His dwelling place in our midst. He clearly said that the glory of the Church would make the Jews jealous and cause them to return. Has this yet occurred? Certainly not! The Church has not stirred jealousy in the Jews because we have become so much like the Pharisees. Those that have eyes to see beyond the natural will see that the invitation to receive His glory is being held out for us to take hold of and establish. The promises that speak of the Glory of Zion are for us today. They will not be completely fulfilled until the Jews and Gentiles become One New Man and together we receive Jesus back into the New Jerusalem, but we can experience a partial fulfillment of these promises NOW. So let us press in to gain hold of the revelation of the Lord as He instructs us as to how to build for His glory.
- Pray that as the Body of Christ awakens we will see with new eyes, hear with new ears and perceive with clean hearts. (1 Cor 2:9-10)
- Pray for the peace of Jerusalem and an awakening among our Jewish brothers and sisters. At a time that anti-semitism is rising in the earth, let us show our love for them by praying fervently for their eyes to be opened. Cry out for One New Man to come forth in this hour.
- Repent for the spirit of religion that has held the Body of Christ captive. As that spirit is dislodged from within us, pray for the spirit of the fear of the Lord to fill that place in our hearts. Pray that God’s people would be free indeed and that the First Commandment would be first place in our hearts. (John 8:31-36, Matt 22:34-38)