For anyone who is a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, the future promise of eternal life gives you hope.
When the time comes to enter Heaven, we all have loved ones and friends we look forward to seeing again. If we think about it, I’m confident there are some historical figures we are also looking forward to meeting. It’s almost hard to imagine the day when we will meet Abraham, Moses, or King David. I’m looking forward to King David introducing me to Grandma Ruth!
Another Biblical character I am looking forward to meeting is the prophet Zechariah. Why? Because he brought a message of hope on a day when it was hard to have hope. His biblical message from twenty-five hundred years ago still rings true today. Like in the days of Zechariah, we also live in a day when it is hard to find hope.
As we go about our daily lives, we have the looming concern of the coming Digital ID, central banks transitioning to digital currency, AI and quantum computing, C40 cities, and the impact of ESG. Each of these will attack our privacy and freedom, and when we completely understand the effects these life-altering changes will have, we will greatly need some hope.
Distracted and Disinterested
God used Zechariah to minister to the returning remnant of Jews from Babylonian captivity. The minor prophet book of Zechariah covers four years, from 520-516 B.C. The Jews had been back in the Holy Land for almost twenty years and were commissioned to rebuild the Temple. There was a constant struggle with outside hindrances, such as opposition from the Samaritans, which caused the work of rebuilding the Temple to stop. The workers lost focus and became concerned with other matters. This is a scene very similar to today, as multiple surveys charting church attendance, church involvement, and individual spiritual growth reveal how people, like the returning remnant of twenty-five hundred years ago, have seemed to become distracted and disinterested.
Born in Babylon, Zechariah returned to Jerusalem with his grandfather (Nehemiah 12). The prophecies of Zechariah line up with Daniel, Ezekiel, and Revelation. Interestingly, both Daniel and Ezekiel were born in Israel but had to minister and write outside of the land, whereas Zechariah was born outside of the land and ministered and wrote in the land of Israel. All four of these biblical books present a future of days unlike a time the world has ever seen, yet it feels as if people choose to be resistant, almost numb, to the warning and direction these books so diligently reveal.
Today is when the Church needs to lead the charge to understand the darkness ahead. I believe anyone who has a basic understanding of biblical prophecy can see the warning signs Scripture has presented. I believe we can anticipate a day coming soon when the general population will be confused, shocked, and maybe even angry at the constraints forced upon them.
For hope, I keep returning to Zechariah. One can find hope even in Zechariah’s name when it comes to this minor prophet. Zechariah’s name means “Jehovah remembers.” We need to remember that God has foretold the events that could soon occur. We must remember God is still in control. He has not forgotten His children. It is refreshing to have this understanding while experiencing a world heading for chaos.
Zechariah presents Jesus, the Messiah, as a King (Zech. 9:9), as a cornerstone (Zech. 3:9; 10:4), a slave sold for thirty pieces of silver (Zech. 11:12), as the smitten shepherd (Zech. 13:7), the Branch (Zech. 3:8; 6:12), and the Glorious Redeemer and Ruler (Zech. 14:1-4, 9, 16-17) — all descriptions which lead to a hopeful future. Jesus is our rock. He is our Redeemer. He is the reason for hope.
God Has Not Forgotten His Promises
The rebuilding of the temple had begun sixteen years before Zechariah’s ministry. It was a time when God sent two post-exile prophets, Haggai and Zechariah, to refocus the nation. Haggai called on the nation to complete the Temple rebuilding project, and Zechariah came alongside the nation and assured them that God cared for them and had not forgotten His promises to Israel. Zechariah delivered a message of hope. “…tell the people: This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Return to me,’ declares the LORD Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’ says the LORD Almighty” (Zech. 1:3). The command to “return to Me” is still valid today.
A Message of Hope
As a teacher/speaker of biblical prophecy, each day I face headline after headline of apostasy, rebellion, rejection, arrogance, and the list goes on. It is so refreshing to spend time in God’s Word and see a message of hope proclaimed to a people desperately in need of it and hungry for spiritual and emotional encouragement.
Zechariah 1:15 says God is “very angry with the nations who are at ease; for while I was only a little angry, they furthered the disaster.” The Lord was very upset with the nations who had mistreated Israel. The term “feel secure” describes “an attitude of arrogance” (Amos 6:1; Isaiah 32:9- 11). These nations had oppressed God’s people and did not care. God was angry with the nations of the world because they were at ease while God’s people suffered.
Again, this scenario plays in headline after headline in today’s world. The world continues to go against God and His Word and seems to have no concern in doing so. So, where is hope?
Rejoice in Hope
In trusting Jesus! “We can rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, and be constant in prayer” (Romans 12:12). “We have a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus and an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading” (1 Peter 1:3-6). The days ahead may get worse before they get better, but for those who place their trust in Jesus, there are future days filled with hope.