Zechariah 8:18–23 (NKJV)
18 Then the word of the Lord of hosts came to me, saying, 19 “Thus says the Lord of hosts:
‘The fast of the fourth month,
The fast of the fifth,
The fast of the seventh,
And the fast of the tenth,
Shall be joy and gladness and cheerful feasts
For the house of Judah.
Therefore love truth and peace.’
In this passage, Zechariah relates the last three of the ten promises or statements of Yahweh concerning Jerusalem, Judah, and Israel’s restoration. This first statement–eighth promise–regards fasting, which was spoken of earlier. The Lord told His people that obedience was better than fasting. In this case, however, He takes the statement even further. He says that all the fasting seasons will be converted to seasons of joy and feasting. The time for loss or mourning or grief will be changed to a time of celebration. God is bringing an end to sorrow in Zion.
20 “Thus says the Lord of hosts:
‘Peoples shall yet come,
Inhabitants of many cities;
21 The inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying,
“Let us continue to go and pray before the Lord,
And seek the Lord of hosts.
I myself will go also.”
22 Yes, many peoples and strong nations
Shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem,
And to pray before the Lord.’
The ninth promise relates to the Gentiles’ coming to the Lord. Many nations will come to Jerusalem to pray. All one has to do today is observe the parade of individuals, especially Christians, who come to the Western Wall in Jerusalem to offer prayers and slip written requests in the cracks in the wall. Orthodox Jews stand and read the Torah and cry aloud to God by that last remaining wall of the old temple, often called the “Wailing Wall.” This prophecy has come true in that those once considered unworthy now can come to God, even in Jerusalem.
23 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.” ’ ”
The tenth and final promise of Zechariah further demonstrates the level of blessing that will come to Jerusalem and all of Israel. People from every nation will want to associate with Israel because of the fact that God is with them. Today, many nations oppose Israel out of pride or jealousy. Yet, many of the strongest nations on earth stand with Israel, believing that they are still, in some way and on some level, God’s chosen people. God Himself judges the sin of His people, but He also promises restoration and favor among men and nations when His people repent and obey. This promise is fulfilled today, as Israel is a hotbed of tourist activity for those who want to experience the land of the Bible. God’s favor is real, and we must appropriate the promises of God from the Old and the New Testament and honor those whom God honors, knowing that His truth is for us all!