The prophet Zechariah paints a word picture for us of a time ahead that we can anticipate. In particular he speaks directly to the city of Jerusalem as the place where God will dwell. It will not be like the city of Jerusalem we know today. Jeremiah lamented over the sorry state of the city at the time of captivity, which was not unlike its state today.
Zechariah describes what he sees in a vision from God of Jerusalem in the future. It is a city where old men and women sit in its streets conversing peacefully while watching children playing safely. It will be a time of restoration. “They shall be My people and I will be their God, in truth and righteousness” (Zechariah 8:8).
When God dwells in Jerusalem, it will be called a “City of Truth” (Zechariah 8:3). A temple will be built in Jerusalem and it will be the center piece for all nations to come and learn the truth of God. Haggai describes it as “the Desire of All Nations” (Haggai 2:7). All nations will be oriented toward the City of Truth.
Can we imagine a time when all people will know truth? Truth references stability – something that is certain. The root word from which the word truth is derived means ”to build up, support”. A solid foundation for a way of life – “This is the way, walk in it” (Isaiah 30:21).
The reality we face today is clearly spelled out by God through Isaiah. “… speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood. Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands afar off; for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. So truth fails, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey” (Isaiah 59:13-15). Our environment has turned truth into error – truth has failed — and what is more, those who cling to truth will be vilified.
Let’s put this into layman’s terms that we are familiar with today. John Swayze, a research chemist, addresses the devolution of the scientific method this way:
“I had an idea. I liked it a lot because it could transform politics and economics, in ways I would like, if people believed it. So, I set out to find only those data which supported it. When I found data which didn’t support my idea, I sought other sources which would allow me to reach the conclusion I wanted. By combining some sources of data and information, and ignoring others, I was able to support the conclusion I had already reached. By joining forces with like-minded others and obtaining public support from news media and politicians, I was able to claim ‘overwhelming scientific consensus,’ drowning out voices raised in disagreement. As I had become a prophet uttering profound oracular claims, it was both reasonable and necessary to stifle dissenting views. The truth is what I say it is. Anyone who disagrees is, therefore, a liar and a scoundrel. It is reasonable to use both the courts and the court of public opinion to silence heretics.”
A graphic illustration of how truth has failed.
There is only one source of truth by which to regulate our lives. And it is not what each of us decides truth to be! “… and Your law is truth … and all Your commandments are truth” (Psalm 119:142,151). The truth of God’s law becomes truth to our minds by the Holy Spirit – the Spirit of truth (John 14:17). This source of truth is not recognized as such by the world. That is why God said that anyone who departs from the untruthful evil will become a prey and be declared a “liar and a scoundrel.”
Unfortunately, there is a great temptation to listen to the media and the flood of information poured out each day and try to evaluate what is truth and what is not. It is an impossible task and can be a futile waste of time. Make sure you spend plenty of time drinking in truth from its source – God’s word.
Is God a “City of Truth” to you?