Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Let your hands be strong, ye that hear in these days these words by the mouth of the prophets, which were in the day that the foundation of the house of the Lord of hosts was laid, that the temple might be built.– Zechariah 8:9
As we read today’s scripture verse it would be only natural to assume that Zechariah is referring to an actual temple: a building made of stone, of brick and mortar, a place of worship. Naturally, we would be correct in our assumption. The beautiful thing about the Word of God, however, is that the meaning found on the surface, that natural meaning, is only the beginning! We can liken the depth of scripture to the peeling off of the layers of an onion or the shell of a hardboiled egg to get to the center as there is much more to discover under the beautiful surface of the Word!
Not only is there depth of meaning in the Word, natural as well as spiritual, but we can use scripture to interrupt and understand scripture as we see the beautiful golden thread that connects His story together all the way from Genesis to Revelation. Jesus IS Alive- Jesus IS the Word- the Word is His Story!
For example, we need only to read and meditate upon 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 (from the New Testament) to see the beautiful connection to today’s scripture from Zechariah (from the Old Testament) and to uncover one of the beautiful spiritual meanings of that verse. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 reads as follows, Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
Shall we dive deeper? YES, we will do so now!
So, the scripture from 1 Corinthians tells us that we, believers on Jesus Christ, are the temple of God with the Spirit of God dwelling inside of us and that in order for us to avoid destruction we are to be holy as He is holy. Keeping that fact in mind, let us look back to our verse from Zechariah. The LORD tells us believers, therefore, to be strong in our faith, in our spirit, and to build that strength by listening to the words of the prophets- by our reading of the Word of God- the Bible. The Bible, which tells the natural story from the beginning- when the foundation of the world were laid- and the spiritual story in us- the building up of the foundation of our faith as the Word of God is planted in us. The perfect temple of the Lord can only be built in us if we allow His Word to be planted in us by disciplined reading and meditation upon it; if we allow Him to cultivate us, that is to sanctify us, into the holy likeness of His Son, Jesus Christ; and if we worship Him in Spirit and in Truth which is achieved through our obedience to Him.
Backwards or forwards- the Word of the Lord goes together naturally and spiritually. A beautiful gift given us from God- full of all wisdom, knowledge, power, and might to the glorious saving of our souls.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. 2 Timothy 3:16-17