THIS WEEK WE'RE IN:
I’VE HEARD IT ALL BEFORE!
Discouragement had hit the remnant of Judah, the small band of exiles that had chosen to return to Jerusalem. After seventy years in exile, they had returned, but only a tiny group. They’d returned to build the Temple, but hopelessness, apathy and discouragement had overtaken them, and they had stopped building for seventeen years.
They had heard the prophet Haggai’s message to be strong and begin building again and after two months of listening to Haggai, another voice from God began to speak. But this one was different; Zechariah, the grandson of a Levitical priest, began to share what God had shown him. This one has angels, flying scrolls, lampstands, men with a measuring line, Babylon, Jerusalem, chariots, good shepherds, and the coming of Zion’s King. Zechariah feels more like Isaiah than a book written after exile!
But the smell of exile was still on their clothes, the memories of the last seventy years etched into their minds, the vision of the fallen Temple set before them. How could they believe again what the prophet of God is saying, the good that He was promising them?