“They will call on My name, And I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are My people,’ And they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’” Zechariah 13:9b (NASB)
Our passage today is another which is about Jesus Christ and his work as our sacrifice. It speaks first of how a remnant of the people of Israel will see and receive Jesus when He comes again. We have many promises in the Bible about the way God answers prayer. Today’s verse has the words, “They will call on my name and I will answer them.” This is God’s promise through His prophet Zechariah that He will answer our prayers and He will say, “They are my people.” Not all will receive the Lord at his return to Earth and while this promise was given specifically to God’s people Israel, who were His people in those days, He has never changed this promise toward those who have believed – we are His people now because we are part of His family. The promise we can claim today is that when anyone of us calls on God in Jesus’ name, He recognizes us as His own and He will respond. We can count on it – He will respond to our prayer today friends, because we are His people and He is our Lord and God.
“But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus may the Lord do to me, and worse, if anything but death parts you and me.” – Ruth 1:16-17 (NASB)
This story demonstrates remarkable loyalty and worth reading in context. There’s not space here to go into it entirely. We find some contrasts as we read the story, Ruth’s sister-in-law, Orpah choses to return to her heritage which was idolatry and worship of the false gods, Chemosh and Molech, to whom children were sacrificed. Ruth wants nothing of that life. Naomi, her mother-in-law has demonstrated her faith in the true God and has won Ruth’s loyalty and desire for it. Yahweh God is who Ruth wants to serve. She is willing to give up her past, any family she has back in Moab in order to live the life of Naomi, no matter what that will be. Our promise is in Ruth’s declaration. God has put that love and desire and faith in Ruth’s heart. But there is a much larger promise that is being fulfilled through Ruth’s choice. A wealthy man of importance named Boaz marries Ruth and they have a child named Obed. Obed became the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David. Ruth, a Moabitess became part of the line of the promised Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth.
“For the Lord will not abandon His people on account of His great name, because the Lord has been pleased to make you a people for Himself.” – 1 Samuel 12:22 (NASB)
As we study the words and acts of God, we discover that He placed a great amount of importance on how we treat His Name. Everything God does is done for His great name’s sake. The name of God is above all names ever for His name has been from before time. Whatever we think, say, and do reflects how important God’s name is to us. In our verse today, the children of Israel after having had God as their ruler and King and administered by God’s appointed judges and prophets, we now jealous of the ways of the godless nations around them had Kings. They wanted a King too. They demanded Samuel appoint a King for them. Once they had their King, they quickly forgot how God had cared for them, even when they strayed into idolatress pagan worship. But God chose Israel and his decedents to be His people. God promised in an unbreakable covenant to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel) that He was their God and would care for them. Because of that promise it was for His Great Name that God keep His promises. God name is why He can’t break a promise.