✝?TEXT: Zechariah 8:1-13(NKJV)
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.'
✝? STUDY: Notice the title for God, “The LORD of hosts” occurring several times in today’s text. Some translations of the Bible use “The LORD of Armies” instead, but both expressions mean the same thing. It is the Hebrew - Jehovah Sabaoth, which speaks of God who will always fulfil His purposes, even when the hosts of His earthly people fail. God’s people had just returned from exile in Babylon to Jerusalem, and were faced with the great challenge of rebuilding the temple of God. They needed words of encouragement to help them stand on their feet, that God would strengthen them as they go about rebuilding His temple. This was what informed Zechariah’s choice of this title for God.
The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is also with us today as we battle all manners of afflictions, whether terrorism, kidnapping, banditry, persecution, financial difficulty, sickness, marital problems, unemployment, academic pursuit, and all that cause us sleepless nights. The Lord has promised not to leave us alone. Absolutely nothing is too difficult for Him. His boundless power is there for us in the midst of impossible circumstances. Let us put our trust in Him, for He is the LORD of hosts.