Zechariah 2:8 (Partial)
… for he who touches you touches the apple of his eye:
The term “apple of the eye” refers to something or someone that is cherished above everything else. In the context of this verse, the prophet it making it clear to the nation of Israel just how precious they are to God. Christians today can also apply this verse to ourselves. God confirms this in the New Testament when he says
1 Peter 2:9-10 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”
We are God’s people. Jesus confirms this as well in John 15:15 when he tells us that we are his friends (“No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends…”).
The significance and impact of these few words cannot be underestimated. Imagine what it means to offend an almighty, all powerful, all knowing God. Imagine the way that this almighty God looks upon those who take advantage of his people and his friends. Imagine the way this all powerful God considers the acts of people who would abuse, neglect or persecute His chosen friends! We know that God is a loving and forgiving God who seeks to bring all men to himself. We also know, that he is a good father who protects his children. This verse is a warning and a comfort.
As Christians this thought encourages us to be on our guard with how we treat other people. Starting with those in our own family, moving out to those in our church, and then to all people, everywhere. We must treat everyone, everywhere, with respect and dignity regarding their potential relationship with God as more important than their relationship with us. When people offend us, we need to carefully consider how we respond. When we are angry, we need to take pause before acting. Are we about to injure someone who God considers to be “the apple of his eye”? Caution is certainly called for out of respect for God and out of respect for his justice.
As parents we need to carefully consider how we raise our children and how we treat them. They are God’s, not ours. We are temporary stewards and guardians for these people who have a more perfect parent in the Almighty God of the universe. As children we need to carefully consider how we treat our brothers and sisters and parents for the same reason. As we look around us, if we view everyone in the world as potentially being one of God’s chosen people, we will surely change our attitudes and perspectives. While we know that some are not his friends, we cannot know who God has chosen. Even the vilest of men can be saved and what a person does today does not reflect what they will do once the Savior touches them.
To men who would abuse others, particularly God’s people, this is the sternest of warnings. God is watching.
WHAT IT MEANS TO OUR FAMILY
Let this be a commitment amongst ourselves, to ourselves and to those around us. Let us endeavor to set aside prejudices and anger and see those around us through the light of hope. The hope that they too are counted among the friends of Jesus!