“But Now”

Sunday Sermon 2.5.22

It is said that there are two things that people hate. Change and boredom. Would you concur?

I raised my son with, and taught my middle school classes the oft trumpted reminder that, “boredom is a choice“. To this day I still believe it and live by it. I believe we can manage boredom. Change on the otherhand, is less under our control.

Change is what God is up to right now, though. He’s not changing, but times are and so are things for His remnant, those who have held on to Him during these perilous times. Check this out:

But now, I will not deal with the remnant of this people as in the former days, declares the Lord of hosts. (ESV)

Things have changed. I’m taking the side of of my core of surviving people. Sowing and harvesting will resume. Vines will grow grapes. Gardens will flourish. Dew and rain will make everything green. My survivors will get everything they need – and more. You’ve gotten a reputation as a bad-news people, … but I am going to save you. From now on you’re going to be good-news people. Don’t be afraid. Keep a firm grip on what I’m doing.” (TPT)

Zechariah 8:11-13

Although this encouragement was given by Zechariah to Israel some 500 years before Jesus was born, it couldn’t be more fitting for us today. And, we are well within our rights and understanding of Bible interpretation to apply Zechariah’s words to ourselves and not just Israel’s remnant.

The Apostle Paul teaches us that:

So, let’s look more closely at these tremendously encouraging words. I read them in my private devotions on 1.29.22, and felt such a strong impression and inspiration from them. So much so, I wrote it in my Bible, and then dug deeper into the text.

  • these things took place as examples for us 1 Corinthians 10:6
  • they are written down for our instruction 1 Coringthians 10:11
  • all scripture is breathed by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness… 2 Timothy 3:16

God is speaking to you, He is speaking to me. It is a promise of positive change coming!

God says, look, this is the way is was, and he lists a few specific situations. Zechariah 8:9-10 Then verse 11 BLASTS THROUGH with, “BUT NOW”. I love that. Everything that had happened was no longer the driving factor or revelant. It WAS that way, BUT NOW, things were going to change.

Whatever has marked your life in the recent months may have been big and heavy and oppressive, BUT NOW God is going to deal with you differently. Verse 11 tells us God is no longer going to deal with us as He did in past days! That is wonderful news to you (and me)!

Here’s the change – it’s all good and it is so amazingly encouraging and freeing. Look!

  • “there shall be sowing in peace” – there’s been enough division, quarrelling, warring and the days of peace are upon us.
  • “the vine shall give its fruit” – you will be fruitful. It is time for the fruit of your labors and efforts to spring forth.
  • “the ground shall give its produce” – the days of productivity are upon you. What you do will actually produce evidence, fruit, things.
  • “the heavens shall give their dew” – you are living under an open heaven of God’s blessing, outpouring and refreshing. Take full advantage and fill up, drink in.
  • “the remnant of this people shall possess all of these things” – those who have been clinging to God, His Word and His ways are the intended recipients of all these blessings!

Slow down. Stop. Go back and re-read those bullets. Those are promises for YOU, for NOW, because God is bringing change, now.

But wait, there’s more! (that sounds like an infomercial add, doesn’t it?)

It doesn’t end there. Zechariah 8:13 ESV

  • “you have been a byword of cursing…” – Christians, the God-fearing, Truth seekers, Jesus followers, believers who have been cursed, shamed, put down, humiliated, etc.
  • “so I will save you” – God is coming to our rescue. God is saving us from situations and God is turning it around.
  • “and you shall be a blessing” – the very ones who have been mocked, will be a blessing!

OMGoodness. When I read this passage last week, I physically felt that God was speaking it to the remnant of His followers. God was telling us that He was bringing change, doing things differently, because we had transitioned into a “BUT NOW” time.

Dear reader, you have transitioned! It is a new and different season for you. This is a season of peace, fruitfulness, productivity and fulfillment. The curses of the past have been broken and you have been released into a time of blessing, release, and possession of your dreams, and hopes in God.

It is altogether fitting that this passage closes with this phrase,

Fear not, but let your hands be strong.”

Zechariah 8:13 ESV

It is time to choose faith over fear and to get your hands dirty doing what God has put in your heart, or placed in your path. Whatever your hand finds to do during this season, do it with all your strength for the Lord and see His blessing on it. It’s time to produce. It’s time for fruit, evidence. It’s time for peace. And it’s time for you to possess all of these blessings so that you can be a blessing!

God is here to help you, save you and make you fruitful in what you do in 2022.

What has been, has been. BUT NOW God is doing something totally different with His remnant. Fear not and be strong!

Be a blessing,

Debbie

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