Zechariah 8:3-8 This is what the Lord says: “I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the Faithful City, and the mountain of the Lord Almighty will be called the Holy Mountain.” This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Once again men and women of ripe old age will sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each of them with cane in hand because of their age. The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there.” This is what the Lord Almighty says: “It may seem marvelous to the remnant of this people at that time, but will it seem marvelous to me?” declares the Lord Almighty. This is what the Lord Almighty says: “I will save my people from the countries of the east and the west. I will bring them back to live in Jerusalem; they will be my people, and I will be faithful and righteous to them as their God.”
Today, the world is in a state of rebuilding after the devastation of a pandemic. which we hope is transitory. Vaccines have been created to restrain the virus and allow a semblance of normality to lives across the globe, especially the ability to once again leave our houses and fill city streets with youngsters and the elderly, without the continued fear of contagion. We have been exiled in our homes long enough, and now the time of restoration is here, and God once again is demonstrating His faithfulness and righteousness to humankind.
Science and religion are not enemies; instead, there is a working relationship between them. When you read the first words of the Bible, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth,” you come to understand that the laws of nature were created by Him, for the good of the animals and humans alike. We must not allow our fears of the vaccines to prevent our forward movement toward reopening classrooms in schools and colleges, businesses, beloved restaurants, parks, and other avenues for play and relaxation.
Oh, how I look forward to traveling again around the world, enjoying seeing old men playing bocce or chess, older women in conversations and with laughter in the food markets, and children running ahead of parents and cavorting with their friends, in America and the world! Restoration occurs in God’s time. We don’t always understand why bad things occur, such as pandemics, death, sickness, or other dilemmas that singe our souls and make us feel alone, as though God put us in exile from His presence and is not listening or seeing the destruction in our lives.
The prophet Zechariah preached restoration and renewal to the Jews who returned to Jerusalem after 70 years in Babylonian captivity. He was attempting to encourage them to finish the work of rebuilding the temple, which had been neglected as they constructed their own homes and/or allowed their fears of those opposed to the rebuilding to result in stopping their forward progress.
Indeed, throughout the Old Testament, particularly the books of the Minor Prophets, words of God’s judgment and of His renewal and restoration of His people reside side by side, and hope for rebuilding lives after tragedy abounds. We are in the midst of a massive rebuliding effort around the world, as God’s time for restoration has come. Let us with effusiveness and thanksgiving embrace the goodness of God, not allowing our fears to halt our forward momentum.