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.’” (ESV)
In verse 19 the LORD tells the delegation from Bethel that the fasts over the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple will be turned into “seasons of joy and gladness and cheerful feasts”. According to verse 19, how does the LORD say that His people should respond to this news? It can be helpful to realize that the word “truth” in verse 19 also carries the idea of “faithfulness”. Therefore it both means that the people should love the truth which God is revealing to them but also that they should respond in faithfulness to God and to one another. We see the same pattern in the New Testament when Jesus, who is the Light of the World, tells His disciples: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven (Matthew 5:14-16)” According to Zechariah 8:20-22, how will God cause the nations to respond when His people respond in faithfulness to His gracious provision? Is this because God’s people are smarter or have discovered some unusual formula’s for success? According to verse 23, what is it that really distinguishes God’s people?
MEMORY WORK – Shorter Catechism Q/A 79
Q. 73. Which is the eighth commandment?
A. The eighth commandment is, Thou shalt not steal.