Into the Mud

Mark Fackler

READ : Zechariah 10:3-5

They shall fight, for the Lord is with them. (v. 5)

The prophet speaks of war: God’s anger burns hot. God’s power makes us his weapons. We push God’s enemies into the mud. Zechariah’s vivid language seems extreme; his images border on the grotesque. Peace-loving people hardly treasure images of fallen adversaries trampled in goo. Whatever happened to the Good Samaritan’s mercy and kindness?

The point of these images is weakness-made-strong. Everything the ancient Hebrews believed in was smashed to dust by the Assyrians and Babylonians, who laughed at Israel’s God and scoffed at his word. They flattened Jerusalem. The promised land was gone. The survivors were slaves of a powerful foreign empire.

Along comes Zechariah. He speaks of recovery and restoration. He dares the people to look past their dismal present to a future when God’s power sweeps the field. Zechariah’s images were all about animal husbandry (shepherds and flocks) and ancient warfare (battle bows and war-horses). How would we capture that message today?

We too need a secure peace in a civil world where human rights are respected and people are free to worship without the threat of fire bombs or midnight vigilantes. We need leaders whose plans resonate with God’s passion for peace, prosperity, and joyful devotion.

Where will such leaders come from, courageous for God, steeped in his word? Could that be you?

PRAYER

Show me, Lord, what power this servant needs for your work.