With just two days left in the year, we come to the end. If you’re still reading, congratulations! It is no small task to read the entire bible, let alone doing it in a year! I’d love to hear how reading the bible in a year has helped, changed, or grown you. Just add a comment to this post and we can share it together.
The last two days are going to be focused, as they should, on the end, the “end of the world” you might say. Zechariah’s report is a bit more difficult than that of Revelation. It includes in these two chapters the story told again and again by the prophets and Jesus Himself. There will be dark times ahead, hard times for God’s people. They will pay for the sins they have committed, but God’s grace is such that this payment will not last forever. After it is finished, God will stand once again with His people against the nations of the world and be victorious. Then Israel will reign in peace at last.
Revelation has spent much of the book sharing the pain and suffering sin brings, and today is solely focused on the grace and mercy at the end of the process. And no matter who shares the story, no matter what metaphor they bring, no matter how long it takes (a chapter or a whole book), the end is always the same. We will live in peace “with God”. The ending is not just constant happiness. It is not getting everything we want. It is not pleasure forever. It is consistently declared to be peace, “shalom”, With God. In Revelation, the temple is gone because, as the representation of God’s presence, it is unnecessary, for God lives among us “out in the open”. There is no sun because God is with us and gives all the light we need. There is no sin, for God lives among us and sin flees from His presence.
What does it look like for you to know that your future is secure, is “shalom”, and is With God? That longing of your heart is met, the empty part, the bitterness, the wounds, the addictions, the fear… these are all gone because God is With Us and brings His Shalom. Take some time today to just sit in that reality: you will experience this in the not-too-distant-future. If, that is, you are a follower of Jesus now… more on that tomorrow.