Truth or Consequences
Author: J. Ronald Blue
Week of February 19, 2017
Back in the days when radio was a primary source of home entertainment, an innovative program captured the attention of thousands. It was based on the simple premise “If you haven’t told the truth, you must pay the consequences.” The program is but a distant memory in the history of time, but to this day a community in New Mexico still bears the name of the program, “Truth or Consequences.”
Zechariah reveals the hypocritical actions of his people. They pretended to fast in search of God’s favor and forgiveness. While they engaged in this vain ritual, they were guilty of oppressing the widow, the orphan, the stranger, and the poor. They had not told the truth so they had to pay the consequences. “So the Lord Almighty was very angry” (Zech. 7:12). The people were scattered and the land left desolate (v. 14).
In spite of the deceit and hypocrisy in Jerusalem, the city was not obliterated forever. The city lives on. “Jerusalem will be called The City of Truth” (8:3). Zechariah pictured the restoration in which the elderly will enjoy protection and peace (v. 4) and “the city streets be filled with boys and girls playing there” (v. 5).
By God’s grace the consequences have turned from destruction to delight. “I will save My people.... They will be My people, and I will be faithful and righteous to them as their God” (vv. 7-8). Jerusalem will be a city of peace, prosperity, and prominence (vv. 12-13, 19-23).
Really do it: Make this a day of truth in your life or you could suffer the consequences. And what about the hypocrisy in your past? Rejoice, God is ready to forgive you. He longs to renew you. The consequences deserved are not often delivered. His truth can cover your consequences.