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REPENTANCE PRECEDES RESTORATION

(58)

Sermon shared by Dennis Davidson

December 2009
Summary: Divine grace cannot be divorced from human responsibility. The bestowing of the riches of covenant grace are for those who are genuinely willing to turn away from sin to follow God alone.
Series: Zechariah
Denomination: Baptist
Audience: Seeker adults
Sermon:
ZECHARIAH 1:1-6
REPENTANCE PRECEDES RESTORATION
[Haggai 1:1-11 / 2 Chronicles 7:14]

The visions of God showering His people with the riches of divine treasure must first be prefaced by the message that travels parallel down the track, arm in arm with divine blessings. The eternal truth which the opening oracle enunciates is one which runs throughout the revealed ways of God’s dealings with man. The appropriation and enjoyment of God’s promised blessings must be preceded by genuine repentance (CIT). Only based upon heart changing repentance will Zechariah’s prophecies of assurance and blessing, centered in the Messiah be offered and promised.
Divine grace cannot be divorced from human responsibility. The bestowing of the riches of covenant grace are for those who are genuinely willing to turn away from sin to follow God alone. If the clarion call to repentance is not individually and corporately heeded by individual and churchwide repentance, then neither will the blessings which Zechariah proclaims throughout the book be ours. Until we are ready to obey God rather than self or the world we have no avenue to ask God to open up His storehouse upon us! The way of the Lord must be prepared before the Lord comes down. Repentance and blessing walk hand in hand.
Let us also realize who received this call to repentance. It was the faithful remnant who returned to the Promised Land. Those afar off would not have this opportunity to hear the divine call and thus lose the opportunity to heed it.

I. DIVINE AUTHORITY AND ASSURANCE, 1-3.
II. HUMAN ACKNOWLEDGMENT AND ACCEPTANCE, 4-6.

I. DIVINE AUTHORITY AND ASSURANCE, 1-3.

In verse 1 we encounter the first message of the Prophet Zechariah dated 520 B.C. or about eighteen years after the Babylonian exiles have returned to Palestine. In the eighth month of the second year of Darius, the Word of the Lord came to Zechariah the prophet, the son of Ber-e-kiah, the son of Iddo saying,
The chronological sign post is the second year of Darius the Great dating this prophecy in 520 B.C. Before the exile to Babylon the prophets reckoned time by Judah’s own kings. Now a heathen monarch is used to establish a date. Zechariah, which means "God Remembers", was a priest as well as a prophet.
The eighth month was about a month after Haggai’s second prophecy in which Haggai had encouraged the people who were in danger of being disheartened because they did not have the resources to construct as great a temple as the past one. Zechariah will now give another view of the past which will prove it not so glorious after all.
Here also is revealed the foundation of Zechariah’s ministry. The Word of the Lord came to him. His authority was established by a divine call, a divine commission to be God’s mouthpiece. His instructions which he delivered to the remnant were received straight from God. The Word of the Lord was in him for he delivered his message in demonstration of the Spirit’s moving. An evidence of all God’s anointed prophets.

Verse 2 reminds the people that they are in this mess because of the past disobedience of their forefathers. The Lord was very angry with your fathers.

The language is very strong in the Hebrew, literally angry with anger, meaning vehement displeasure which was nearly abhorrence. That fact could not be denied.
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