A Performative Word

On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, which is the month of Shebat, in the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came to the prophet Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, son of Iddo, saying, “I saw in the night, and behold, a man riding on a red horse! He was standing among the myrtle trees in the glen, and behind him were red, sorrel, and white horses. Then I said, ‘What are these, my lord?’ The angel who talked with me said to me, ‘I will show you what they are.’ So the man who was standing among the myrtle trees answered, ‘These are they whom the LORD has sent to patrol the earth.’ And they answered the angel of the LORD who was standing among the myrtle trees, and said, ‘We have patrolled the earth, and behold, all the earth remains at rest.’ Then the angel of the LORD said, ‘O LORD of hosts, how long will you have no mercy on Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, against which you have been angry these seventy years?’ And the LORD answered gracious and comforting words to the angel who talked with me. So the angel who talked with me said to me, ‘Cry out, Thus says the LORD of hosts: I am exceedingly jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion. And I am exceedingly angry with the nations that are at ease; for while I was angry but a little, they furthered the disaster. Therefore, thus says the LORD, I have returned to Jerusalem with mercy; my house shall be built in it, declares the LORD of hosts, and the measuring line shall be stretched out over Jerusalem. Cry out again, Thus says the LORD of hosts: My cities shall again overflow with prosperity, and the LORD will again comfort Zion and again choose Jerusalem.’ ”
Zechariah 1:7–17
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A Performative Word
The Lord God is a jealous God. He wants his people to worship him, to fear, love and trust in him above all things. He allows us to give that worship and the fear to no one else. But we are really good at finding other things and other persons to put our trust in. Those things can be riches, cars, real estate, and the like. They can be positions of power. We make gods out of relationships, too. We even trust old wives’ tales and superstitious things we’ve heard. These things will not do for our God. He is angry and showers his wrath to generations that do not love him. However, his wrath does not last forever. His anger is only for a moment. He sends his Holy Spirit with the Word of life. The preaching of this Word is performative. It works forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation among his people. It creates a new heart where there was a sinful, rock-hard heart before. He has mercy. He relents from the disaster that was deserving and instead gives peace and forgiveness, but not without cost. The debt is transferred to Jesus. The mercy is due to the work of the Cross. The rewards of Christ’s resurrection are showered on you. The Lord chooses you. He gives comfort and peace. He forgives your sins. You are his.
 
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