Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Saturday after the Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on November 2, 2019 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: Zechariah 8:1-23 (NKJV)
8:1 Again the word of the Lord of hosts came, saying, 2 “Thus says the Lord of hosts:
‘I am zealous for Zion with great zeal; With great fervor I am zealous for her.’
3 “Thus says the Lord:
‘I will return to Zion, and dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth, the Mountain of the Lord of hosts, the Holy Mountain.’
4 “Thus says the Lord of hosts:
‘Old men and old women shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each one with his staff in his hand because of great age.
5 The streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets.’
6 “Thus says the Lord of hosts:
‘If it is marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, will it also be marvelous in My eyes?’ Says the Lord of hosts.
7 “Thus says the Lord of hosts:
‘Behold, I will save My people from the land of the east and from the land of the west;
8 I will bring them back, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. They shall be My people and I will be their God, in truth and righteousness.’
9 “Thus says the Lord of hosts:
‘Let your hands be strong, you who have been hearing in these days these words by the mouth of the prophets, who spoke in the day the foundation was laid for the house of the Lord of hosts, that the temple might be built.
10 For before these days there were no wages for man nor any hire for beast; There was no peace from the enemy for whoever went out or came in; For I set all men, everyone, against his neighbor.
11 But now I will not treat the remnant of this people as in the former days,’ says the Lord of hosts.
12 ‘For the seed shall be prosperous, the vine shall give its fruit, the ground shall give her increase, and the heavens shall give their dew—I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these.
13 And it shall come to pass that just as you were a curse among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so I will save you, and you shall be a blessing. Do not fear, let your hands be strong.’
14 “For thus says the Lord of hosts:
‘Just as I determined to punish you when your fathers provoked Me to wrath,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘And I would not relent,
15 so again in these days I am determined to do good to Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. Do not fear.
16 These are the things you shall do:
Speak each man the truth to his neighbor; Give judgment in your gates for truth, justice, and peace;
17 Let none of you think evil in your heart against your neighbor; And do not love a false oath. For all these are things that I hate,’ says the Lord.”
18 Then the word of the Lord of hosts came to me, saying, 19 “Thus says the Lord of hosts:
‘The fast of the fourth month, the fast of the fifth, the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, shall be joy and gladness and cheerful feasts for the house of Judah. Therefore love truth and peace.’
20 “Thus says the Lord of hosts:
‘Peoples shall yet come, inhabitants of many cities;
21 The inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, “Let us continue to go and pray before the Lord, and seek the Lord of hosts. I myself will go also.”
22 Yes, many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord.’
23 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”’”
We spent the week hearing from Nehemiah about the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem. Now Zechariah proclaims the promise of the Lord God, that He would cause the Israelites to dwell in the land once again. The Lord also restored the Gospel with the events begun on Reformation Day, and brought the people back to hear that we are forgiven for Christ’s sake, not according to our sinful works. The Church today also suffers violence. Many false doctrines exist in congregations, and openly manifest sins are allowed and praised.
In all these cases the Lord is faithful, and He helps His faithful remnant rebuild the broken walls and burned gates of the Church. Even though our Lord cares for His Church in the midst of her trials, the prophecy of Zechariah is about the eternal Church.
On the Last Day, our Lord God will take us out of this land of exile that we live in and bring us to the Promised Land of Heaven. We will no longer be sojourners and strangers in a foreign land. We will no longer endure the scorn and mockery of enemies who hate us. We will no longer carry the reproach of the nations against us. Our heavenly Father will welcome us into our heavenly abode, and for all eternity we will hear His Word, and thank and praise Him with all those who have gone before us in the faith.
We pray: O Almighty and Most Merciful God, of Thy bountiful goodness keep us, we beseech Thee, from all things that may hurt us, that we, being ready, both in body and soul, may cheerfully accomplish those things that Thou wouldst have done; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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