Monday, July 28, 2014
The old foundation of grace
"He said to me, 'This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, says the Lord of hosts. What are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain; and he shall bring out the top stone amid shouts of ‘Grace, grace to it!'" Zechariah 4:6-7 (NRSV).
The message of the old testament prophets of Israel and Judah may, at first, appear to have no correlation with our modern culture. However, despite time and cultural differences, human beings are still human beings, and our motivations and responses will always be human.
Zechariah is a prophet of hope. These prophecies were written in 520 B.C. after the Jews returned to their homeland from the Babylonian exile. The main project of Zerubbabel, who was the governor of Judah, was to rebuild the Jerusalem temple, which lay in ruins on the temple mount. In the verse above, Zechariah reassures Israel that the mount heaped with ruins will be cleaned and leveled, and a stone from the ruined temple will be placed in the foundation of the new temple to assure the continuation of God's intention to bless his faithful people.