6 “I will strengthen Judah and save the tribes of Joseph.
I will restore them because I have compassion on them.
They will be as though I had not rejected them, for I am the Lord their God and I will answer them.
7 The Ephraimites will become like warriors, and their hearts will be glad as with wine.
Their children will see it and be joyful; their hearts will rejoice in the Lord.
8 I will signal for them and gather them in. Surely I will redeem them; they will be as numerous as before.
On Monday the book of Zechariah was described as fostering hope in the future promise of the messianic kingdom and noted the when is related to Israel’s ability to follow and be faithful to God. In chapter seven they were not there even though they were returning from after seventy years of exile. Today, the description is much much different. The chapter in the NIV has the title The Lord will care for Judah demonstrating a great change of heart has occurred among His people.
Even Ephraim, the northern kingdom, will be restored. Not many from the northern kingdom returned from their captivity and exile, but God through Zechariah gives the wonderful promise they will come and prove to be mighty warriors. As a result their hearts will be glad as with wine, not with wine, but as with wine. As a further result Their children will see it and be joyful; their hearts will rejoice in the Lord. Their children will rejoice in the Lord, how incredibly wonderful!
Brings an interesting question to mind. How do our children see us reacting to God the Father, to His Son Jesus? Do they see us with a faith that shows through with gladness so great in our hearts it is as if we had partaken of wine? Or do they see us dour faced having to once again go to a Bible Study that just takes too much time and a person is there you simply do not like? Ditto for going to church services, do you go with joy and excitement in your heart about what you are going to hear and learn about the Lord or a sour attitude about wasting time in church, but you must go for some reason?
Either way, your children will see it and what they see will determine if they are joyful about God and if they in their hearts will rejoice in the Lord. As parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents we all have something to do with this. Later the choices will obviously be theirs to make, but as parents etc. we lay a lot of the groundwork. The verses imply the Ephraimites are putting God’s word into practice daily and their children see it. What do your children or friends or extended family see in you at church and then after church? Are you putting God’s word into practice? Or are you like those who listened to Ezekiel?
30 “As for you, son of man, your people are talking together about you by the walls and at the doors of the houses, saying to each other, ‘Come and hear the message that has come from the Lord.’ 31 My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to hear your words, but they do not put them into practice. Their mouths speak of love, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain. 32 Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice.
Ponder this carefully and prayerfully.