ZECHARIAH 7:8-10: “And the word of the Lord came to Zechariah, saying, “Thus says the Lord of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.” (ESV)
OBSERVATION: What would you do if you won the lottery? Some are immediately recoiling and thinking – “I never play the lottery!”, “I don’t believe in the lottery!” Well, the truth is, neither do I. I voted against the lottery, and have moral convictions that would keep me from playing the lottery. But may I be completely honest. When I have heard the advertisements for the multi-million dollar power balls, I too have wondered – “What would I do if I won the lottery”?
What would I do if suddenly I had all the money and blessings this life had to offer? Would I get up the next day and go to work, just like I had done the day before? Would my personality change or be the same? How would I handle this sudden windfall of wealth and prosperity? Let me turn the question on its’ head. How am I handling the blessings and riches of heaven that have been poured out on me freely through our Lord Jesus Christ? Am I becoming a different person? Is my life visibly and tangibly changing?
The believer’s heart and life are called to reflect the heart of their new Heavenly Father. We do not receive the riches and blessings of heaven in order to spend them on ourselves. This has never been the Lord’s intent. Jesus came and died so that those who live their lives would no longer live it for themselves, but for Him who for their sake was crucified, buried, and raised (II Corinthians 5:15). This is exactly what the Lord proclaims to Israel through Zechariah:
- “…Thus says the Lord of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.”
Note how everything the Lord called them (and us) to was directed toward others. We all have a choice in how we will respond to, and steward the Grace of God in our lives. In essence, when we are born again, we become a diamond of His Grace – yet, still in the rough. Our walk of faith and obedience will either lead us to being formed and fashioned by His hand, or limited in our growth and potential by ours.
Imagine if you found a diamond in your backyard. How foolish would it be to take it into the garage and begin to try and shape it into a beautiful jewel with a hammer and a screwdriver. In order to produce a beautiful gem you need the hand of a skilled diamond cutter (the Lord), and the proper tools (the Word of God). With these the Holy Spirit is able to fashion us into the image of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the original design that God has for our lives. The potential for each life is glorious when we are surrendered to the Master’s Loving Hand! The question is – what type of diamond will we be? This is the choice Israel faced, and they did not choose wisely. Listen to the following verses to our key verse in the Book of Zechariah.
- “But they refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears that they might not hear. They made their hearts diamond-hard lest they should hear the law and the words that the Lord of hosts had sent by his Spirit through the former prophets. Therefore great anger came from the Lord of hosts. “As I called, and they would not hear, so they called, and I would not hear,” says the Lord of hosts, “and I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations that they had not known. Thus the land they left was desolate, so that no one went to and fro, and the pleasant land was made desolate.” (ESV)
Lord, help me not to become “diamond-hard” in my heart. Give me Your Grace sufficient to keep my heart surrendered and continually being fashioned into the beautiful diamond that You desire me to become. May my life be daily changed both visibly and tangibly by your Holy Spirit as I am being fashioned into the image of Jesus Christ, and am learning to enter my true destiny as Your child!
In Jesus Name!