Zechariah 8:9-23, NLT
“Now I will rescue you and make you both a symbol and a source of blessing. So don’t be afraid. Be strong, and get on with rebuilding the Temple!” Zechariah 8:13, NLT
We are living in a broken world with stony hearts that have been broken, being broken or will be broken. Our broken hearts are but a reflection of our broken relationship with our Heavenly Father. God does not break our hearts to punish us – we have been deceived into making God in our own image. God is heartbroken when we hide from His Presence like Adam and Eve. God is patiently waiting for us to return to Him. Our hardened hearts need to be broken to restore our identity as the children of God who are childlike, humble and thankful.
The Jews had been chosen to be both a symbol and a source of blessing for humankind. Zechariah reminded them that their ancestors had stony hearts when they refused to listen to God’s message to show mercy and kindness to one another. Their disobedience led them to be exiled to Babylon.1 After their return from their exile in Babylon, Zechariah called the Jews to turn from their times of mourning and to celebrate festivals of joy by loving truth and peace. Then the world will seek to worship God in Jerusalem:
“This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: People from nations and cities around the world will travel to Jerusalem. The people of one city will say to the people of another, ‘Come with us to Jerusalem to ask the Lord to bless us. Let’s worship the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. I’m determined to go.’ Many peoples and powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to seek the Lord of Heaven’s Armies and to ask for his blessing.”2
But the temple they were rebuilding was nothing compared to the glory of the temple that King Solomon had built and the Jews were discouraged and brokenhearted.3 Zechariah comforted them with God’s promise to restore Jerusalem through a small remnant of God’s people. They were not to be afraid as God was going to bless them. He encouraged them to continue rebuilding the temple to fulfill God’s plan for their lives:
“Now I will rescue you and make you both a symbol and a source of blessing. So don’t be afraid. Be strong, and get on with rebuilding the Temple!”4
God’s plan to redeem the world may appear impossible but nothing is impossible for God.5 It may seem impossible to be happy in a broken world. As our loving Heavenly Father, God wants us to be happy but is through our brokenness that we discover the secret of true happiness – the Peace and Presence of God in our lives:
“Happy are those who mourn; God will comfort them!”6
God does not want us to be sadists who find happiness in pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is inevitable in a broken world – God keeps track of all our sorrows and collects all our tears in His bottle.7 Jesus came to preach good tidings to the poor and to heal the brokenhearted – to comfort all who mourn and to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.8 Jesus Christ came to restore our relationship with God so that we can glorify God and enjoy Him forever.9 We are to be a fellowship of the brokenhearted – to live as saints who belong to the family of God and in need of healing for our broken hearts.
The fellowship of the Alcoholic Anonymous provides us with an ideal model of how to do so. In their meetings, the recovering alcoholics share their struggles of overcoming their addiction to alcohol with the knowledge that they can never be free of their addiction. They confess their powerlessness over alcohol and affirm their need for a power greater than themselves.
We need fellowships of the brokenhearted – saints who are battling sin with the grace of God rather than as sinners trying to be saints. As a fellowship of the brokenhearted, we embark on the inner journey to heal our brokenness through His loving Presence in the mystery of silence. It is in silence that real prayer is born as we open our hearts and minds to the Holy Spirit:
“Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like You have loved me
Break my heart for what breaks Yours
Everything I am for Your kingdom’s cause
As I walk from earth into eternity”10
Lord, help me to embrace my brokenness as I wait upon You in silence.
- What is the root cause for our broken hearts and broken lives?
- How does brokenness in our lives lead us to true happiness?
- How can we journey with one another to discover our identity as the children of God?
Song of Praise:
- Zechariah 7:8-14, NLT
- Zechariah 8:18-22, NLT
- Haggai 2:1-5, NLT
- Zechariah 8:13, NLT
- Zechariah 8:6, NLT
- Matthew 5:4, GNT
- Psalms 56:8, NLT
- Isaiah 61:1-3, Luke 4:18-19, NKVJ
- Westminster Shorter Catechism
- Hosanna, Hillsong