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Gracious Words for Rebuilding (Zechariah 1-2)

When God looks to do a new thing in and through our lives, when He has a special task for us, He will strengthen us for it with “gracious and comforting words” (Zechariah 1:13). God’s rebukes are always necessary, and His hard sayings drive out the things in us that resist Him, like pride, self-reliance, covetousness, and so on. Rebukes tend to be for uprooting. But God’s encouraging words of promise and hope are meant to give strength for rebuilding God’s home.

His gracious words are true in every season. Yet, He gives them out at times when He wants the active power of that truth to accomplish something in and through us. For the people of Israel in Zechariah’s day it was the rebuilding of the temple of God. The nation’s idolatry and sin had caused the destruction of the temple and a 70-year exile. But the prophet hears an angel pray, “O LORD of hosts, how long will You have no compassion for Jerusalem and the cities of Judah” (1:12)? At this moment, God spoke His gracious and comforting words.

Sometimes, we need to bring to God the unspoken, “How long…?” from within our souls. We need to give voice in prayer to the cry with which we are wrestling. Often, the comforting words of God are on the other end. For you, it may not be a temple that needs rebuilding, but perhaps there is an area where you failed. Perhaps there is a situation, relationship, or area of life that appears hopeless and dead, though God’s Word says it should be alive. Israel knew their city should have a wall, but the path to get there seemed impossible. You may know to some degree what it would look like to have a spiritually healthy marriage or friendship or prayer life. But maybe discouragement or the sense of guilt or grief is obscuring the way to rebuild the ruins.

For this, God has gracious words. “I am exceedingly jealous for Jerusalem and Zion” (1:14). The New Jerusalem consists of those who know and love the Lord Jesus. He is very jealous for you as a child whom He bought with His blood; He has not overlooked you or your circumstances. He says, “I will return to Jerusalem with compassion; My house will be built in it” (1:16). If you are serious about Jesus, He is serious about You. God is working even now to make you a person on which His Spirit can rest in a greater way. He wants to build His house right in your heart, your body, your mind. He is jealous for you; you are the place where He chose to dwell. If you think, “I am not worthy,” or, “I blew it again, so He must not want to live with me,” think for a moment of how thoroughly Israel had sinned and worshipped idols. Yet, when their hearts were remorseful and returning, God pledged to “again comfort Zion and again choose Jerusalem” (1:17). There is no stain that the blood of Jesus cannot remove, as long as we want it gone. There is no failure God cannot redeem for those who love Him and return to Him.

Every person has a place within the body of Christ, an anointing and a gift from God with which He desires to build up the rest of the family. Your gift is intended to “build the temple,” in a sense. If the news that you have such a calling is not good enough, God gives us this wonderful promise: “I…will be a wall of fire around her, and I will be the glory in her midst” (2:5). We are seeking to build each other up, but ultimately the Lord Himself is a fire that protects, strengthens, and fortifies His church. Not only that, but this temple you and I are called to build up is a place where the glory of God is going to rest, even more mightily than on any one individual. Receive His gracious words today to rebuild His dwelling place, both personally and corporately.

Alex Mack

Teaching Pastor

The Rock Church

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