Summary: Introductin to the book of Zechariah
1. Application Bible, “The familiar phrase, ‘Like father, like son,’ implies that children turn out like their parents. But God warned Israel not to be like their fathers, who disobeyed him and reaped the consequences – His judgment.
We are responsible before God for our own actions. We aren’t trapped by our heredity or environment, and we can’t use these excuses for our sins. We can choose, and we must individually return to God and follow Him.”
2. Judah has seen God’s principle, laid out in the Palestinic Covenant, of obedience brings blessing and disobedience brings curse, played out in the Babylonian captivity. He appeals to them to learn from it!
3. The Prerequisite for Restoration is Repentance.
Zechariah 1:1-6 (NKJV)
1 In the eighth month of the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came to Zechariah the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying,
2 "The LORD has been very angry with your fathers.
3 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.
4 Do not be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets preached, saying, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts: "Turn now from your evil ways and your evil deeds." ' But they did not hear nor heed Me," says the LORD.
5 "Your fathers, where are they? And the prophets, do they live forever?
6 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.' " ' "
I. For starters, a Reaquaintance with the historical background.
II. Furthermore, a Reference to Zechariah’s time. 1:1
A. The Time – October 520 BC
Times of the Gentiles – “Significantly is the fact, that a Jewish prophet dated his prophecy according to the reign of a Gentile monarch. This was a vivid reminder that the ‘Times of the Gentiles,’ a term used by Jesus Himself had begun (Lu. 21:24).
This time, was initiated by the fall of Jerusalem, to the armies of armies of Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC. The prophet Daniel received the revelation that Gentile kingdoms would be dominant over Judah and Israel until God would set up His kingdom on earth, under the rule of the Messiah (Dan. 2 & 7). Before Messiah’s return no descendant of David, will sit on the throne in Jerusalem.” [Duane Lindsey]
The Persian king Darius reigned from 522-485 BC., he continued the policy of Cyrus of allowing the Jewish people to return to their homeland.
B. The Team.
1. Divine Source – “the Word of the LORD came…”
2. Human Spokesman – Zechariah.
Zechariah “the Lord Remembers” was a young man (2:4), but since God is the source his age is immaterial (Jer. 1:6-9).
Wiersbe said that a young pastor called him and said he felt inadequate because most of his membership was much older than he was. He replied, “As long as your delivering God’s messages don’t worry about how old you are. When you open your Bible your over 2,000 years old!”
C. The family Tree.
1. His Parents – his father was Berechiah, who is believed to have died young, and his grandfather is Iddo.
2. He is a Priest. (Neh. 12:4,16)
3. He was also a Prophet – God’s spokesman to Judah, to those Jews who have returned back to their land form the Babylonian captivity.
III. Next, the message of Repentance. 2-3
This must be taken in light of Palestinian Covenant (Deut. 29-30). The phrase “turn now” is found in Dt. 30:1,2,3,8,9,10…
Merrill, “The verb “turn” used 3 times in vv. 3-4, has a strong covenant connotation. This is confirmed by the technical terms in verse 6, “words” and “statues.” These nouns refer regularly to the stipulations of the covenant made with Israel at Sinai (Deut4:1-2; 17:19; 27:8/ Neh.9:8, 13-14). To turn from YHWH therefore is to break covenant with Him and to turn to evil ways and deeds (v.4). In a covenant context “ways” and “deeds” refer to a whole pattern of rebellion and disloyalty.”
A. The Principle is Deut. 30:1-10.
1. The Nation would be Removed. 30:1a
a. Babylon. Deut. 28:39
This would be by a nation, the nation is not identified, most take it to be a reference to Assyria or Babylon or even both.
New American Commentary, “The agent of the Lord’s curse is not specifically identified in the passage at hand except as a far away and fierce nation of an unknown language…Some argue that the Babylonians were in view, an identification supported by Jeremiah, who appears to link the Babylonians with the imagery of this cursed section…As time passed, the historical situations would clarify the specific applications so that Jeremiah, who witnessed the rise of the Neo-Babylonian Empire would understand the prophecy to refer to Babylon.”