“‘You there! Flee from the land of the north,’ declares the LORD, ‘because I have spread you out like the four winds of the heavens,’ declares the LORD.”
Have you ever been told, “Run and run hard”? When I was a little boy my brother and I used to love to go to my Grandma Carter’s farm because we could roam that place and find all sorts of things to do. We loved to climb over in the pasture with the cows (that was a no-no, but we did it anyway). We would get as close to them as we could and then we would throw rocks at them. All is well until…you hit the bull. He didn’t like that. We would get chased by him and have to dive under the fence to escape. I can still hear my brother Tim yelling, “Run, Carl, Run!!”
The Lord God is delivering His message through the angel to Zechariah, but it is meant for all those still in Babylon. He says, “Run! Get back home! I’ve got a place for you here where you can spread out and be safe.” In fact, the sentence begins with a double yell. He cries out “Hoy, Hoy” just to get their attention. In other words, “Hey you there, you better listen up.”
Isaiah tells the people a very similar message in Isaiah 48:20. “Go out from Babylon! Flee from the Chaldeans! Declare with the sound of joyful shouting, proclaim this, send it out to the end of the earth; Say, ‘The LORD has redeemed His servant Jacob.’” You have to understand something. For some of the captives, all they had ever known was Babylon. The thought of leaving, even a captivity, was frightening. It took some urging.
Is that you? You know you are being held captive by your sins. You know you need to leave what you are doing, but you are afraid to step out. Listen! Hoy! The God who is calling you is waiting for you. He has a better place for you. He would not call you out of the sin you are in to place you in a worse place. He is all about drawing us near to Him.
That reminds me of James 4:8. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” Do that today. Cleanse and purify. That is done by coming to Him. He is the One who cleanses. He is the One who purifies.
I run to You, O God. I know You are standing with open arms.