1 In the eighth month of the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Zechariah son of Berekiah, the son of Iddo:
2 “The Lord was very angry with your ancestors. 3 Therefore tell the people: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Return to me,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’ says the Lord Almighty.4 Do not be like your ancestors, to whom the earlier prophets proclaimed: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Turn from your evil ways and your evil practices.’ But they would not listen or pay attention to me, declares the Lord. 5 Where are your ancestors now? And the prophets, do they live forever? 6 But did not my words and my decrees, which I commanded my servants the prophets, overtake your ancestors?
“Then they repented and said, ‘The Lord Almighty has done to us what our ways and practices deserve, just as he determined to do.’”
(Zechariah 1:1-6 NIV)
As we open the book of Zechariah the minor prophet, we meet him in verse 1. As mentioned in the Introduction yesterday, Zechariah was likely born in Babylon and came to Jerusalem as a young man, with his father Berechiah and his grandfather Iddo (Nehemiah 12:1-4).
So what was the word that the Lord gave to Zechariah?
“Return to me, and I will return to you.” (v. 3)
In other words, repent and restore their relationship with God.
The message was old (Jeremiah 3:12, 4:1), but its hearers new. The Lord was angry with the Israelites’ forefathers because they did not obey the Lord, nor did they want any relationship with Him (vv. 2 and 4).
The Lord then asks the people two questions (v. 5):
- Where are your forefathers? (assumed deceased)
- Where are the prophets who spoke to your forefathers? (also assumed deceased)
The Lord then reminded them that His covenant relationship with His people transcends the measures of space and time (v. 6). The Lord also reminded His people that their forefathers eventually came to their senses and repented, although it was only after they felt God’s anger and wrath because of their hardened hearts and their disobedience to Him.
Remember that God is with you and me today; we have all the provision we need.