THE PROPHECY OF ZECHARIAH AND THE MERCY OF GOD (Part 16)
Let Us Rejoice In Jehovah’s Great Mercy
“I will favor the one whom I favor, and I will show mercy to the one to whom I show mercy” (Exodus 33:19)
Thus, will be fulfilled Jehovah’s declaration of mercy upon the very many people, who will come out of the great tribulation: “I will make all my goodness pass before your face, and I will declare before you the name of Jehovah; and I will favor the one whom I favor, and I will show mercy to the one to whom I show mercy” (Exodus 33:19). The situation will be like the mercy of God toward the unrighteous resurrected ones, who did not fully know the will of God in the old system of things (Acts 24:15).
Jesus Christ gave an image of the mercy of God, in the illustration of the “prodigal son”, of a Father with the gaze strained towards the return of his son, always ready to forgive and to facilitate the repentance of the sinner in sight of everlasting salvation: “While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him and was moved with pity, and he ran and embraced him and tenderly kissed him” (Luke 15:11–32). Jesus Christ showed that his Father would accept the practical wisdom of humans in order to give them mercy: “And his master commended the steward, though unrighteous, because he acted with practical wisdom; for the sons of this system of things are wiser in a practical way toward their own generation than the sons of the light are” (Luke 16:1–8). Jesus Christ showed that His Father would show His mercy at the very last moment, by illustrating the eleventh hour workers (Matthew 20:1–16).
In two of the illustrations, The Prodigal Son and the Eleventh Hour Workers, Jesus Christ showed that some humans would lament God’s mercy toward humans saved at the last moment. Some would think that they have “won” by “works”, over many years, a reward far greater than that given to those sinners repented at the last moment: “When the 11th-hour men came, they each received a de·narʹi·us. So when the first came, they assumed that they would receive more, but they too were paid at the rate of a de·narʹi·us. On receiving it, they began to complain against the master of the house and said, ‘These last men put in one hour’s work; still you made them equal to us who bore the burden of the day and the burning heat!’ But he said in reply to one of them, ‘Fellow, I do you no wrong. You agreed with me for a de·narʹi·us, did you not? Take what is yours and go. I want to give to this last one the same as to you. Do I not have the right to do what I want with my own things? Or is your eye envious because I am good?’ In this way, the last ones will be first, and the first ones last”” (Luke 15:25–31; Matthew 20:9–16).
In Zechariah chapters 7 and 8, Jehovah encourages his servants to serve Him with love and without spiritual formality, without of feelings such as love for God and for mankind: “Say to all the people of the land and to the priests, ‘When you fasted and wailed in the fifth month and in the seventh month for 70 years, did you really fast for me? 6 And when you would eat and drink, were you not eating for yourselves and drinking for yourselves? 7 Should you not obey the words that Jehovah proclaimed through the former prophets, while Jerusalem and her surrounding cities were inhabited and at peace, and while the Negʹeb and the She·pheʹlah were inhabited?’” (Zechariah chapter 7; 1 Corinthians 13:1–8). Jehovah God asks for sincerity and love for Him and His principles contained in His Word, the Bible: “The word of Jehovah of armies again came to me, saying: “This is what Jehovah of armies says, ‘The fast of the fourth month, the fast of the fifth month, the fast of the seventh month, and the fast of the tenth month will be occasions for exultation and joy for the house of Judah — festivals of rejoicing. So love truth and peace’” (Zechariah 8:18,19).
As the judgment draws near for each of us who will decide our everlasting future, shortly before the great tribulation, Jesus Christ recommended humility, modesty, and a righteous appreciation of ourselves. Jesus Christ used several illustrations such as that of the repentant tax collector and boastful Pharisee, or the wedding feast guest seeking the first place, to show the importance of not having too high an opinion. of ourselves, especially when we pray. Regarding this last illustration, here is what it is written: “He then told the invited men an illustration when he noticed how they were choosing the most prominent places for themselves. He said to them: “When you are invited by someone to a marriage feast, do not recline in the most prominent place. Perhaps someone more distinguished than you may also have been invited. Then the one who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Let this man have your place.’ Then you will proceed with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and recline in the lowest place, so that when the man who invited you comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, go on up higher.’ Then you will have honor in front of all your fellow guests. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted””(Luke 14:7–11; Romans 12:3).
Therefore, let us rejoice in the mercy of God to “the prodigal sons”, “the repentant tax collectors”, “the eleventh hour workers”, who will survive the great tribulation, while considering us personally and sincerely , as the last of humans worthy of this mercy of God and of Christ (Luke 18:9–14).
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