Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny
Again the word of the Lord came to Zechariah: “The Lord who rules over all said, ‘Exercise true judgment and show brotherhood and compassion to each other. You must not oppress the widow, the orphan, the foreigner, or the poor, nor should anyone secretly plot evil against his fellow human being.’ Zechariah 7.8-10
Zechariah was the Lord’s prophet. He refers to God here as the Lord who rules over all.
The commandment to exercise justice is not new. In Jeremiah 9.24, it states that the Lord acts out of justice in the earth. Not only does he act in that way, but he commands that those who follow him act in the same manner.
The word “brotherhood” in some versions is kindness. Kindness and compassion are the characteristics that God wants his followers to practice. Widows, orphans, foreigners and the poor were those who were at a disadvantage in society. Many times there was no one to stand up for them nor to care for them. God’s people are to fill that role.
The children of Israel, to whom Zechariah was sent as a prophet, refused to pay attention to his words. They turned away stubbornly and made their hearts as hard as diamonds so that they could not obey the Lord. God sent them into captivity. The land that once flowed with milk and honey became desolate and a waste.
May we heed what God has to say in his word! May we have hearts that are just and kind, always obeying what God has commanded in his word!