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 cultureHowever, 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.Cafter the Jews returned to their homeland from the Babylonian exileThe main project of Zerubbabel, who was  the governor of Judah, was to rebuild the Jerusalem temple, which lay in ruins on the temple mountIn 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.
The grace is the old foundation that assures the continuation of new hopeThe old foundation of grace is indeed oldGrace was in the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth (Micah 5:2)Hope is what motivates humans today, just as it did long ago, and this same foundation of grace continues in our hope today, just as it did in Zechariah's dayGod's unending grace to sinners today provides us with the foundation of hope for a perfect homeland in heaven.