Zechariah 8:6

“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)

Zephaniah 3:2

“She obeyed not the voice; she received not correction; she trusted not in the LORD; she drew not near to her God.”

Verse 1 of Zephaniah 3 reveals that this was said about Jerusalem. Like many of the prophets, Zephaniah was sent by the LORD to warn Israel against their idolatry, appealing to them to turn back to Him. While giving these warnings, God often pointed out the futility of turning away from Him. And in so doing, He revealed a heart for His people. He was not pointing these things out to harass them, but to get them to see that their best option really was to look to Him instead of their idols. Here were the things that showed the error of their ways.

First, they obeyed not the voice. In Exodus 19 and 20 the Lord told about Israel coming before Him at Mount Sinai. In chapter 20 is given what we know as the Ten Commandments. The people heard the voice of the LORD pronouncing His commandments. In chapter 19, they came near to Mount Sinai in preparation for meeting God. Verses 7 and 8 tell us, “And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him. And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.” The first commandment recorded in Exodus 20 was, “you shall have no other gods before thee.” They heard the voice of the LORD announce this commandment. But before long they were worshipping the golden calf. As Zephaniah put it, they obeyed not the voice.

Next, they received not correction. As noted, most of the prophets were sent to warn the people away from their idolatry. The LORD spoke in Amos 4:6,8,10, and 11 of the numerous trials He had brought their way, and in each of those verses He ended with, “… yet have ye not returned unto me.” Quoting from Proverbs 3:11, Hebrews 12:5-7 and 9 brings before us a principle, “And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? …Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?” God’s people should realize that their lives are always not in keeping with God’s ways. He desires to have His people live lives that please Him, which is the best possible outcome for them. His desire is that they turn to Him. So there are times when He sends trials into their lives to provide correction. According to Zephaniah, they didn’t accept His correction.

Then Zephaniah said that they trusted not in the LORD. Many examples could be mentioned. One of the first ones was after the LORD had defeated Egypt at the Red Sea. God lead them to a place called Marah where there was no water. They learned there that He would supply their needs. He provided water out of a rock for all of them to drink, as well as their animals. Then, in Exodus 16:1-3 we read, “And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt. And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness: and the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” After what they had learned about water at Marah, they didn’t trust the LORD with their supply of food. In spite of His care for them in supplying water, and His provision of a pillar of a cloud and fire to direct them in the way they should go, they didn’t trust Him for their food.

Finally, “…she drew not near to her God.” As noted before in the book of Amos, the LORD appealed to Israel to turn to Him. God’s desire is for His people. He wants them to look to Him and lean on Him in the events of life. The books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Zephaniah as well as other prophets all include appeals to Israel to turn to Him, and thus away from their idolatry. In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” He also said in Matthew 6:31-33, “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? …for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” These appeals from Jesus to turn to God are in keeping with His heart for His people.

As believers in Jesus Christ, do we obey His voice? Do we accept His correction? Do we trust Him? Do we draw near to our God? This is what He desires.

Out on the mountain, sad and forsaken,
Lost in its mazes, no light canst thou see;
Yet in His mercy, full of compassion,
Lo! the Good Shepherd is calling to thee.


Calling to thee, calling to thee;
Jesus is calling, Come unto Me;
Calling to thee, calling to thee,
Hear the Good Shepherd calling to thee.

Far on the mountain, why wilt thou wander?
Deeper in darkness thy pathway will be;
Turn from thy roaming, fly from its dangers,
While the Good Shepherd is calling to thee.


Flee from thy bondage, Jesus will help thee,
Only believe Him, and thou shalt be free;
Wonderful mercy, boundless compassion,
Still the Good Shepherd is calling to thee.

Refrain (Fanny Crosby)