Summary: Repentance, a prerequiste to experinence the blessings in the Book of Zechariah
Zechariah, meaning, “Yahweh remembers,” is an appropriate title for this book because the reader of the book is told the good news, Yahweh remembers His chosen people and His promises and will be faithful
to them. It is a book of comfort and hope, beginning with a call to repentance and ending with prophecies
concerning the return and reign of Christ. Like Jeremiah and Ezekiel, Zechariah was both a priest and
prophet. He began his ministry in Judah two months after Haggai began his ministry. Both prophets
compared the present with the past and the future. Haggai stressing the rebuilding of the temple as a sign
and source of the Lord’s blessing and Zechariah emphasizing the need to repent and spiritual renewing.
Haggai and Zechariah’s ministries followed the ministries of Ezekiel and Daniel who ministered to the
captives in Babylon.
The purpose of Zechariah’s ministry was to motivate the captives that had returned to Judah and
Jerusalem to finish restoring the temple and to rededicate themselves to the Lord of hosts. The central
theme of the book is encouragement and hope. The key to this hope is the coming of Messiah and His
overthrow of ungodly forces and establishment of His kingdom on earth. The bases of his ministry is divine authority, “the word of the Lord” (Zechariah 1:1). He received a divine commission to be the Lord’s spokesman, with instructions what to say to the returned captives and he delivered to the people what he received.
In the eighth month of the second year of Darius’ reign,” two months after Haggai began his ministry the
word of the Lord came to Zechariah the saying, “The Lord was very angry with your fathers.” Two reasons are given in 2nd Chronicles 36:14-36 why the Lord was angry with the fathers of the returning captive; continued idolatry and a failure to give the land seventy sabbatical years of rest(Leviticus25:2-7). It was for this reason the wrath and anger of the Lord “were poured out and burned in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem” (Jeremiah 44:6). The Lord through Ezekiel told the Israelites He would deal with them “in wrath” and His eye “will have no pity nor shall” He spare them even though they cry out for mercy. He will not listen to them (Ezekiel 8:18).
The captives who have returned to Judah and Jerusalem have no excuse for doing what they were doing just as their fathers had no excuse for doing what they did. The fathers were warned and didn’t listen to or heed the warning. The children of the fathers of the captives have no excuse for doing what they are doing because their fathers told them why they were born in captivity and the wrath and anger of the Lord was poured out on the cities of Judah, Jerusalem, and the people. They were told why the temple was destroyed. They have come to Judah and Jerusalem and have seen the results of the disobedience of their fathers.
This should be a warning to Christians. There is a time when the Lord can no longer permit the
disobedience of His children and though we find it hard to believe the Lord will deal harshly with the
disobedient. He will do as He did with the ancient Israelites. We have been warned disobedience has its
consequences. The prophets have warned us. The apostles have warned us. Above all others Jesus has
warned us. Today, the Holy Spirit warns us. Are we listening and heeding the warnings? Before you answer look at the conditions in the world just as the returned captives looked at the destruction of the
their cities, Jerusalem, and the temple. The judgments of those who have gone before us should be a warning not to follow in their footsteps if they lead us to the same situation the captives found themselves in.
The word of the Lord told Zechariah , tell the returned captives: “Return to Me...that I may return to
you.” They are to turn to the Lord in faith and repentance and make their peace with Him. If they will do this the Lord will extend His mercy to them. They will find peace and be reconciled to Him. Malachi told
the builders of the wall around Jerusalem he was told to tell them “From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from My statues and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you.” (Malachai 3:7).
These backslidden people were told, “Do not be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets proclaimed, saying, ‘thus says the Lord of hosts, Return now from your evil ways and from your evil deeds.’ “But they did not listen or give heed to Me,” declares the Lord.”