Zechariah Says to Worship Our God Who Jealously Seeks Attention
"Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: "Return to Me," says the Lord of hosts, "and I will return to you," says the Lord of hosts.' "
-Zechariah 1:3, emphasis added
Zechariah (520 B.C.) was a contemporary with Haggai (520 B.C.). Zechariah is the second of the final three prophets of the Old Testament. His name means "God remembers." Because each word of the Bible is inspired, this offers us a theme of the book. Unlike the thunder of Haggai, his contemporary, Zechariah, gave comforting messages of encouragement. Born as the son of a priest during the Babylonian exile, he seems to have been an orphan. He was called the son of Iddo, who was his grandfather.
Returning with the faithful remnant numbering 42,360 individuals under Zerubbabel, he joined those who came to restore the temple worship of the Lord. His ministry dates to the second year of the King of Persia named Darius Hystapses (521-520 B.C.). This dates his ministry to two months after Haggai stood at the ruins of the temple and preached his first prophetic sermon.
Just like Haggai, God burdened Zechariah for the neglected repair of the temple. However, God extended his prophetic view far beyond the Jews of his day. God sent him on a prophetic voyage that travels to the very end of redemptive history. He was given detailed insights surrounding the events of the coming Messiah, the Tribulation, the golden millennial age of Israel, and the reign of Christ. Because Bible teachers of the magnitude of Martin Luther believed that God was through with the Jews, they concluded that all of this had to be describing the church. Thus, they chose to not write on some parts of Zechariah's book.
Making Choices to Live in Hope:We can choose today to reflect truths from this great Old Testament prophet that can change us.
· Sin will bring God's judgment:"Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap" (Galatians 6:7). Pause and examine your heart. Is there a sin that you are trying to hide? Since God sees all things, instead of trying to hide it, turn from it in your heart by seeing sin as primarily against God. Do not blame anyone for your sin; tell God that you have sinned against Him and want to stop. Ask for cleansing grace to start over. Then decide to obey even the little things that God reveals.
· Turning from sin brings blessing:"Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: "Return to Me," says the Lord of hosts, "and I will return to you," says the Lord of hosts'" (Zechariah 1:3). Even the most wicked, like Ahab, found mercy in turning. Manasseh, likewise, was forgiven (2 Chronicles 33:9-13). The instant we forsake sin we are blessed, the Spirit of God flows again through our lives, and we experience the new beginning that is our spiritual heritage in Christ. Do not wait, seek Him and find Him right now. Bow and yield, ask and receive.
· God, like His Word, can never be evaded for long:"Yet surely My words and My statutes, which I commanded My servants the prophets, did they not overtake your fathers? So they returned and said: ‘Just as the Lord of hosts determined to do to us, according to our ways and according to our deeds, so He has dealt with us'" (Zechariah 1:6). God is not mocked and He is full of pardon. He delights in forgiving, cleansing, and giving us a fresh start. He longs to live the best life through us that is possible. Just give the helm to Him, and walk in obedience today.
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