This post is Day 24 in a series of studies about “Hope”. I strongly suggest you begin with the introduction to this study, please click here to read it.
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Hope – Day 24
Zechariah was from the tribe of priests and he began to prophecy about 520BC to the people who had returned to Jerusalem after the exile. There was much rebuilding to be done once the Jews had returned to Jerusalem, and the people soon got discouraged. They had started with enthusiasm.
Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.
The expression “prisoners of hope” speaks to me about many in the faith chapter we read yesterday. Many of them died without their hopes fulfilled. Today we read a prophecy of promise from the Old Testament.
Zechariah was from the tribe of priests and he began to prophecy about 520BC to the people who had returned to Jerusalem after the exile.
There was much rebuilding to be done once the Jews had returned to Jerusalem, and the people soon got discouraged. They had started with enthusiasm and hoped for rapid success. But there were still enemies distracting them and taking their time and energy.
Zechariah’s prophecy is an encouragement to keep going, reminding them that the Messiah is still in God’s plans and He will come. The people needed to remember what they had been hoping for when they came home to Jerusalem.
Across the Christian world there are many who had hoped that Jesus would return early this millennium. They declared that this was “the third day” and Jesus would come back to earth as He had after His three days in the tomb. But just as in Zechariah’s time, there is much work to be done before that happens.
Think today about your hopes of what Jesus will do for you personally during this year. Ask yourself if you are a “prisoner of hope” who will not be deterred from what you hope for. Ask The Lord to change your hopes into faith.
Read Zechariah 9:9-17 and imagine how this prophecy would result in encouragement of the people.
Be an encourager yourself today and speak to someone else about the hope you have, that even if the world looks to be in chaos, there is a God of love who cares for us as individuals.
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