Promise box theology
Zechariah 8: Is anything too much for me?
This section of Zechariah’s writing is made up of short “Proverbs-like” statements from the Lord. Years ago we had a little plastic box that had cards with individual verses printed on them. Each day we would pick a card and read the promise for that day. In spite of this fortune cookie approach to Scripture there was the positive aspect of our becoming familiar with all the good things the Lord has to say to his people. To those of Zechariah’s day, his short words of encouragement might have contained some of that “promise box” value. After years of putting it off, they’ve accepted the challenge of rebuilding the Temple. It’s a huge job and they’re overwhelmed by it all. In the midst of all this God’s prophet comes around every so often with a new word of the Lord to them. He tells them that the Lord cares about what they’re doing and that Jerusalem has a bright future. On this day, Zechariah encourages them to remember that the Lord’s helping them and nothing’s too hard for God. As I reach out to make this word of encouragement my own I’m reminded of the downside of using that old promise box. These words are spoken in a specific context. They aren’t about my getting a passing grade on some important test I’m about to take or my getting a raise at work. If I try to make these words about my wants then I’m guilty of twisting the intent of the Almighty. This promise is that God will help me to do what he calls me to do, even if that mission seems like an impossible task. This is a terrific promise just as it is and I need to respect it and not turn it into a tool for getting God to do stuff for me.
Take Away: The Lord will help us to do what he calls us to do.
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