Return to your fortress, O prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you (Zechariah 9:12 NIV).
God is our fortress. Those who remain within the fortress are surrounded with God’s strength. The fortress thus is a symbol of divine protection. This protection is available to a child of God at all times. But this protection is limited to the confines of the fortress and not outside.
Therefore those who wander out of the gates of the fortress place themselves in great danger. They forget that they are now easily within the enemy’s reach and striking range. Sometimes they are taken captive too because they move away from the source of their confidence and strength. Thus they find themselves prisoners of sin.
To these prisoners who hope in God’s deliverance the call to return to the fortress has been sounded. This call to return is also accompanied by an amazing promise. God promises to restore twice as much whatever might have been lost. This is the grace of God in all its beauty. The world will never forgive someone who has wasted everything by wrong living. But God’s mercy is altogether different. He not only forgives the repentant sinner, but also adds goodness to him in double measure when he returns.
Therefore God is not asking you of how much you have wasted! He is not angry that you left the fortress. God only wishes that you return. He waits to see you come back. The gates of the fortress are always open to welcome the one who returns. So return to your fortress, for you will find strength within it!