I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies - Before, he came to them in judgments; and the principal mercy is, the house of the Lord shall be rebuilt, and the ordinances of' the Lord re-established.
And a line shall be stretched forth - The circuit shall be determined, and the city built according to the line marked out.
Therefore - This being so, since God was so jealous for His people, so displeased with their persecutors, “thus saith the Lord,” Dionysius, “I who “in wrath remember mercy, am returned” Habakkuk 3:2, not by change of place, who am uncircumscribed, not existing in place, to the people of Judah and Jerusalem in mercies, manifoldly benefiting them by various effects of My love.” The single benefits, the rebuilding of His House, and so the restoration of His public worship, and the rebuilding of Jerusalem, are but instances of that all-containing mercy, His restored presence in tender mercies. “I am returned,” God says, although the effects of His return were yet to come.
Osorius: “The temple was built then, when the foundations of the walls were not yet laid. In man‘s sight it would have seemed more provident that the walls should be first builded, that then the temple might be builded more securely. To God, in whom alone is the most firm stay of our life and salvation, it seemed otherwise. For it cannot be that he, to whom nothing is dearer fhan zeal for the most holy religion, should be forsaken of His help.”
To His children today the Lord declares, “Be strong, ... and work: for I am with you.” The Christian always has a strong helper in the Lord. The way of the Lord's helping we may not know; but this we do know: He will never fail those who put their trust in Him. Could Christians realize how many times the Lord has ordered their way, that the purposes of the enemy concerning them might not be accomplished, they would not stumble along complainingly. Their faith would be stayed on God, and no trial would have power to move them. They would acknowledge Him as their wisdom and efficiency, and He would bring to pass that which He desires to work out through them. PK 576.1
The earnest pleadings and the encouragements given through Haggai were emphasized and added to by Zechariah, whom God raised up to stand by his side in urging Israel to carry out the command to arise and build. Zechariah's first message was an assurance that God's word never fails and a promise of blessing to those who would hearken to the sure word of prophecy. PK 576.2Read in context »
In vision Zechariah heard the angel of the Lord inquiring, “O Lord of hosts, how long wilt Thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which Thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years? And the Lord answered the angel that talked with me,” Zechariah declared, “with good words and comfortable words. PK 580.1
“So the angel that communed with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy. And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction. Therefore thus saith the Lord; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: My house shall be built in it, ... and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem.” Zechariah 1:12-16. PK 580.2
The prophet was now directed to predict, “Thus saith the Lord of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the Lord shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem.” Verse 17. PK 580.3Read in context »