Evening, February 24, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“Then the angel of the Lord said, “O Lord of hosts, how long will You have no compassion for Jerusalem … the Lord answered the angel who was speaking with me with gracious words, comforting words.” — Zechariah 1:12-13

What a wonderful answer to an anxious question! This night let us rejoice in it. O Zion, there are good things in store for you; your time of struggle shall soon be over; your children shall be brought forth; your captivity shall end. Bear patiently the rod for a season, and under the darkness still trust in God, for his love burns towards you. God loves the church with a love too deep for human imagination: he loves her with all his infinite heart. Therefore, let her sons be of good courage; she cannot be far from prosperity to whom God speaks “gracious words and comforting words.” The prophet goes on to tell us what these comforting words are: “I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy.” The Lord loves his church so much that he cannot bear that she should go astray to others; and when she has done so, he cannot endure that she should suffer too much or too profoundly. He will not have his enemies afflict her: he is displeased with them because they increase her misery. When God seems to have left his church, his heart is still warm towards her. History shows that whenever God uses a rod to discipline his servants, he always breaks it afterwards, as if he loathed the rod which gave his children pain. “Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.” God has not forgotten us because he smites us—his blows are not evidence of a lack of love. If this is true of his church collectively, it is of necessity true also of each individual member. You may fear that the Lord has passed you by, but it is not so: he who counts the stars, and calls them by their names, is in no danger of forgetting his own children. He knows your case as thoroughly as if you were the only creature he ever made, or the only believer he ever loved. Approach him and be at peace.