One

September 1, 2022 by Kimberly Orr, Publisher of The Upper Room

The Lord will become king over all the earth; on that day the Lord will be one and his name one.

— Zechariah 14:9 (NRSV)

Zechariah 14:9 makes a clear statement of devotion and faith despite the post-exilic chaos from which it emerges. It evokes an image of steadfast hope for the future of Jerusalem as she looks to rise triumphantly from the ashes of her former glory. The prophet Zechariah boldly declares that in the end God’s ultimate rule over the nations and God’s divine personhood are undiminished, despite apparent evidence to the contrary.

The Hebrew word echad, here translated as “one,” means unity, uniqueness, wholeness, and indivisibility. This concept is also a pillar of the foundational Shema prayer found in Deuteronomy 6:4-9; 11:13-21, and Numbers 15:37-41. Why is this “oneness” key to God’s identity, and why is it important for us to understand? Simply put, God’s essential unity asserted in prophecy and prayer offers us an invitation to a secure relationship with our Creator as we navigate our fragmented world. May we by faith dare to proclaim — as Zechariah did — that no matter the circumstances, we will keep our eyes open for God’s unwavering love and grace. May that love and grace take root in our governments, neighborhoods, ministries, and families — even as destructive and divisive elements seek to sow chaos among us. God is able.


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The Upper Room magazine's mission is to provide a practical way to listen to scripture, connect with believers around the world, and spend time with God each day.

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