Journey Through The Scriptures
The Prophecy of Zechariah
Lesson 5: Israel’s Future Restoration
(Scripture to Read: Zechariah 8:1–23)
This chapter is a wonderful description of future peace and blessing for Israel. Although the exile to Babylon had “made the pleasant land [Israel] desolate” (Zechariah 7:14), it was impossible that it would remain so. God’s covenant with Abraham and his descendants is an everlasting covenant, the fullness of which will be realized in the Messianic age. Jerusalem will once again be the center of the earth, a place of peace and safety where the people will enjoy long life and children will play in the streets without fear of those who would harm them. This prophecy of future blessing included the Jews’ ingathering to Israel—a prophecy we are seeing fulfilled before our eyes today.
The prophecy also had an immediate purpose—to urge the people of Zechariah’s day to finish the building of the Second Temple begun almost twenty years earlier. The Temple is the key to the promises we read in this chapter of Israel’s status as a blessing to the nations. Just as Israel has been an object of scorn to the nations and a scapegoat for the world’s ills, so in the day of Messiah, Israel and her rebuilt Temple will be an attraction to the world as people from everywhere flock to Jerusalem to worship. More than that, the nations will realize that blessing awaits them in Israel and they will come to the Jews for help in seeking the Lord.
- In what sense did God mean that Israel’s restoration will not be “marvelous” to Him (v. 6)?
- What does God promise the people of Israel in verses 78?
- Why would the various fasts that their ancestors observed (v. 19) become feasts for Israel in the days ahead?
- What is the significance of verse 23?
Something to Think About
Another way to translate the word “jealous” in Zechariah 8:2 in relation to God is “zeal.” This is an archaic word that expresses a very contemporary fact, which is that God not only greatly desires faithfulness from His people, but is committed to bring it about and earnestly seeks to bless instead of judge.