Today’s Scripture Reading: Zechariah 9:1 through Zechariah 14:21
There was a family in my neighborhood growing up who had three boys. In the summer the boys played outside all day, every day —baseball, football, basketball, forts, and riding bikes. Their parents allowed them to play anywhere in the neighborhood, as long as they could hear “the whistle.” During the day their Mom had a police whistle she used to call them for lunch, but the most important whistle was their Dad’s. He didn’t need any kind of special instrument, he just put two fingers to his mouth, pushed air through his lips and his special sound went into every nook and cranny in the neighborhood and found all three boys EVERY TIME!
When they heard their Dad’s whistle they stopped what they were doing and ran home as fast as they could because they knew the best part of their day began when their Dad got home.
In the days of the prophet Zechariah each family owned a couple of sheep for personal use. The animals stayed at night in the courtyard of the family’s house. Families on a given street agreed as to who would shepherd their combined flock, often designating one or more of the children. In the morning this shepherd would go down the street to gather the sheep. The person at the door recognized the shepherd and opened the door for the sheep to pass through. The shepherd had a distinct call or whistle, sometimes using a small flute, which the sheep recognize and follow. When several flocks end up at a watering place at the same time and mingle together, they were easily separated again by the shepherd, who gives his call as he starts to walk away. (http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/commentary)
On that day the Lord their God will rescue his people, just as a shepherd rescues his sheep… When I whistle to them, they will come running, for I have redeemed them. From the few who are left, they will grow as numerous as they were before. –Zechariah 9:16, 10:8
Can you imagine being an Israelite in those days?
- Their temple had been destroyed
- They had been exiled from their country for 70 years
- They had been judged by God for their sins
And then they heard the Word from the Lord through the prophet Zechariah, “God will rescue His people, just as a shepherd rescues his sheep.” Not only did they know they would be rescued, they understood the depth of love God had for them because they understood the relationship between the shepherd and his sheep.
Friends, we too have been rescued and redeemed. In Galatians 3:13 NKJ, God tells us that Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, by being made a curse for us. When He cried out on the cross, “It is finished,” (John 19:30) our redemption was guaranteed.
It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet (God’s whistle) sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. –1 Corinthians 15:52 (explanation mine)
Just like my child-hood friends, when our Heavenly Father “whistles” we will run to meet Him because being with Him is what we’ve been waiting for!
Blessings in Jesus!
© 2012 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Ezra 6:14b-22; Ezra 4:6; Esther 1:1 through 4:17