“Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If it be marvellous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, should it also be marvellous in mine eyes? saith the LORD of hosts.”
Zechariah’s prophecy came during the reign of King Darius, as noted in Zechariah 1. Darius was a Persian king, and he reigned during the time when Israel returned to their land, after they were carried away by Nebuchadnezzar. Jeremiah prophesied that the captivity would last 70 years. Zechariah prophesied at the end of that time. He was the second to last prophet that God had sent, Malachi being the last, and his writings date to around 520 BC.
Zechariah 8 is a wonderful prophecy of the restoration of Israel to their land. From the start of the chapter the LORD of hosts speaks, telling of His coming blessing on them. Zechariah 8:1-5 says, “Again the word of the LORD of hosts came to me, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury. Thus saith the LORD; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age. And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof.”
Before they went into exile the LORD had told Israel that there would be neither old people nor children in the city, such as Jeremiah 9:21, “For death is come up into our windows, and is entered into our palaces, to cut off the children from without, and the young men from the streets.” Because they had ignored God and His ways, He sent judgment on them. But in Zechariah 8 God promised that He would restore the city, and it would be teeming with old and young.
As noted above, the things that He promised concerning Jerusalem would be marvelous, or wonderful, in the eyes of the remnant of the people. When the things described in Zechariah 8:1-5 come to pass, it will be a day of great rejoicing for the people of Israel. It will be wonderful. Imagine the marvel, the wonder, the joy of the people of Israel when they were restored to Jerusalem.
This verse also gives a view of God’s heart. God’s heart is for His people, even though His justice required that judgment must fall. Notice in Zechariah 8:6 that that promised day will also be wonderful in the eyes of the LORD of hosts! He will rejoice in that day! Because of the LORD Jesus Christ and His sacrifice that reconciles mankind to the Father, God is free to deal mercifully and kindly with His people. After all, that is His nature, as shown in Exodus 34:6,7, “And the LORD passed by before (Moses), and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin…”
For the church, one wonderful truth is God’s faithfulness to His people. What He promises He will surely bring to pass. It is impossible for Him to lie. If He failed to keep His promises to Israel, what hope would the church have? But, He will keep His promises to Israel. And, He will keep His promises to His church.
In Zechariah 8:22,23 we read, “Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.” Israel will not only be back in their land, but the nations of the world will come to Jerusalem to worship the LORD! How marvelous, how wonderful, in the eyes of the LORD!
I stand amazed in the presence
Of Jesus the Nazarene,
And wonder how He could love me,
A sinner, condemned, unclean.
O how marvelous! O how wonderful!
And my song shall ever be:
O how marvelous! O how wonderful!
Is my Savior’s love for me!
For me it was in the garden
He prayed: Not My will, but Thine.
He had no tears for His own griefs,
But sweat drops of blood for mine.
He took my sins and my sorrows,
He made them His very own;
He bore the burden to Calvary,
And suffered and died alone.
When with the ransomed in glory
His face I at last shall see,
’Twill be my joy through the ages
To sing of His love for me.
Refrain (Charles H. Gabriel)