There are certain verses in Scripture for which, in all honesty, we need no context. The whole of Scripture is their context. The knowledge of God’s character is their context. If we are familiar with those things, we really need not know what else is going on specifically in the surrounding verses. Zechariah 6:15 is one of those verses, especially the last part.
“Those who are far off will come and build the temple of the Lord.” Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. And it will take place if you completely obey the Lord your God. Zechariah 6:15 (emphasis mine)
I struggle with decision making. I want to know beforehand, with absolutely certainty, that something will work out. What if I make the wrong decision? What if I’m not hearing from the Lord correctly? Ultimately, though, the pros and cons are not what I need to consider when making a decision. Obedience is. And if I step out in obedience, He will take care of the consequences. They might not be pretty consequences. But, they will be blessed if I walk in obedience, and I will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my choice has been based in obedience to the Lord my God!
There is a song by Smalltown Poets that I just love. It’s probably my favorite of their songs, and it deals with this very issue. The song is called “Hold It Up to the Light,” and one particular stanza affects me most strongly:
I was dead with decided, afraid to choose
I was mourning the loss of the choices I’d lose
But there’s no choice at all if I don’t make my move
And trust that the timing is right
I will hold it up, hold it up to the light
If you do look at the context of the verse from Zechariah, you will see that God is sending messages to the exiles. Their whole world fell apart when Jerusalem was taken and the children of God were hauled into exile. Slowly, they are beginning to come back around to their God. Slowly, they are learning that their exile is the direct result of generations of sin and unfaithfulness.
Now, a man stands before them, claiming to have a word from God. He’s a prophet, and some strange things have come out of his mouth. Yet he has given them instructions that he declares to be from the Lord their God. They have a decision to make. Will they step out and follow the instructions? Or will they continue to walk in disobedience? Ultimately, only after they step out in obedience to His commands will they receive confirmation and see the promises of God fulfilled. And some of the fulfillment will be seen by future generations, not by themselves. But first, before anyone sees anything from the hand of God, they have to obey.
I want to make sure I have heard from the Lord. But, I cannot allow my indecisive nature to prevent me from walking in obedience. I will obey. I will step out. And He will take care of the rest.
And here’s the song, if you’re interested: