- Zechariah 7:1-8:23
- Ezra 5:2-6:22
“Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.'” –Zechariah 7:9-10, ESV
I love when scripture gives the why to a commandment. The above prophetic word from the Lord through Zechariah provides an easy-to-understand list of how we should be going about our lives. And several verses later, He tells us why:
“…I am jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I am jealous for her with great wrath.” –Zechariah 8:2, ESV
Working backwards, how can we rest in the merciful actions and not devise evil (or payback, or justification) against one another? Because He is zealous for His people. His jealousy will protect us. His love for both us and our “enemy” will make the difference. And because we can trust Him to take care of those that may work against us, we can more easily turn our focus to the mercy expected of us. Showing kindness flows more easily when your heart and mind are freed from thoughts of unfairness or vengeance. Trusting God to take care of the aftermath, we move forward, we show kindness, we live mercy.