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A Heart for the People

Zechariah 10:1 (ESV) … “Ask rain from the Lord in the season of the spring rain, from the Lord who makes the storm clouds, and he will give them showers of rain, to everyone the vegetation in the field.”

For a moment the prophet came back to his own day. He had done well to look thousands of years into the future and rhapsodize about the millennial age, but now he was inspired to apply prophetic truth to present needs. His people, who were pressing on with the task of rebuilding the temple, were suffering hardship as a result of successive years of drought. “Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain,” Zechariah said. The latter rain, which was essential to swell the maturing grain, usually came at the time of the vernal equinox. The early rain normally came at the time of the autumnal equinox. Both rains were considered to be marks of God’s blessing (Deuteronomy 11:14; Isaiah 30:23; Jeremiah 5:24). Zechariah was concerned for his people, but he did not hesitate to re-emphasize the fact that the nation’s troubles stemmed from its earlier idolatry and later indifference. He summarized their problem in Zechariah 10:2: “There was no shepherd.” Israel’s monarchs were supposed to be shepherds like David, God’s ideal king. David with his shepherd heart and spiritual nature was able to write Psalm 23. But Judah’s later kings were false shepherds. Even Zerubbabel and Joshua had not been concerned for the flock. It took the voices of two prophets to restore concern to the leaders and the people.[1]

Pray that those who are called to proclaim both the truth of God and exercise the care of God will always have like heart like Zechariah, a heart for the people.

[1] Phillips, J. (2009). Exploring the Minor Prophets: An Expository Commentary (Zec 10:1–2). Kregel Publications; WORDsearch Corp.

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