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by David Thompson
Zechariah was a minor prophet, but was very important all the same. In this passage, he points to a time in the future where Israel is reunited from all over the world and the oppressors are brought into submission. The survivors of the oppression were commanded by God to come together for the Festival of Tabernacles once a year. This festival is a time of thanksgiving to the Lord for the harvest of lost souls, remembrance of escaping from Egypt, and the annual harvest.
Certainly we could celebrate this festival today, especially for the lost souls and the annual harvest. It is a weeklong celebration in the Jewish religion. Zechariah prophesized that all the survivors from wherever they were would come to Jerusalem to give thanks. If not, God promised to provide no rain to the people who had failed to attend.
In this passage and cross-references, God promises to restore the land, the city, and the temple for the Jewish people. As you might remember, the temple was destroyed in A.D. 70 by the Romans. This is how we know that Zechariah is speaking of a time well into the future as the temple is still destroyed as of this writing. There is a famous place called the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem that is a remaining wall of the temple.
In studying this passage and reading a number of texts about this passage, it became evident that no matter what turmoil comes up in my life, I can trust in Him. That trust is due to the assurance that God is in charge and in the end...He will win. I may not understand why bad things happen to us, but I am 100% convinced it is for our good. Praise be to God for knowing the beginning and the end.
Breath Prayer: Take 2-3 minutes today to pray a simple breath prayer. Get somewhere quiet and relaxing. Breathe in deeply, and then breathe out fully. As you breathe in, ask God to fill you with His presence, love, peace, hope, etc. As you breathe out, offer to God the things you need Him to take from you – sin, doubt, shame, anxiety, fear, etc. Pray this way for just a few minutes, trusting God to work.