“‘These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts; do not plot evil against your neighbor, and do not love to swear falsely. I hate all this,’ declares the Lord.” (Zechariah 8:16-17)
The Israelites are being encouraged to rebuild the Temple and the walls around Jerusalem after returning from their exile in Babylon. They are hesitant and slow to respond, however.
God, through Zechariah, gives the people a picture of the past disobedience of His people and His judgment upon them and proclaims that that is over. He will now rebuild and bless His people. With that He commands them to do things that will establish them as a people of justice and peace. He tells them how to act with each other. They are to be a people of integrity.
The Holy Scriptures clearly declare what our God desires of us. He desires lives that are honest and upright. He desires that our relationships be of the highest quality. He desires that we love one another as He loves us. He desires that in all our dealings we seek justice and turn from evil. He desires that our words be wholesome. Our God has standards and He wants us, with His help, to keep them. In Jesus, the Christ, those standards were fulfilled and we now have His help in obeying them.
Heavenly Father, Your “to do list” is wonderful to behold. From our sinful nature, however, they are difficult to obey, even though desired. Your Spirit, Your Grace is essential for us to make any progress in living Your will. Lord, make it so by Your Spirit. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Robert Forsberg is the former pastor in Fairborn and guest columnist.