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Zechariah 1:1-6

14/03/2015

Zechariah – The Gospel in the Old Testament!

Zechariah 1:1-6

Why would we want to study this book? Zechariah is God’s Word, just as much as is the Gospel of John! We shall see some very good reasons indeed, as we begin our study of Zechariah. Let us see:

  • The era in which the prophecy is set! In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, (November 520BC) Zechariah was prophesying during the reign of King Darius in Assyria.   There was plenty of outward religious work, but there was no inward change, no inward spiritual activity! During the time of Zechariah the people of God were deeply discouraged, and their level of interest in the work of the Lord was at a very low ebb. The book of Zechariah addresses this situation. It is A BOOK OF ENCOURAGEMENT!
  • The central personality of the prophecy! unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet Zechariah was most likely a priest at the temple. His grandfather was a man called Iddo, who is mentioned as a Levite in 12:4 & Neh. 12:16 But actually, this book is not about Zechariah!
    • It is about God remembering! The name Zechariah means, God (Yahweh) Remembers. So this book of Zechariah is not really about Zechariah it is about GOD! (This is the case with every book in the Bible!) And God’s work, ultimately is about God, rather than about us! Zechariah’s name and message was that GOD NEVER FORGETS! He will always exercise His grace, His covenant love (hesed) and He will never forget the people of His Loving Choice! Genesis 9:12-16  
    • It is about God revealing! For in the prophecy, God speaks to Zechariah in a series of 8 visions, telling him what is to come! Do you want assurance for the future? Read the Bible! Read Zechariah!
    • It is about God rewarding! God stepping into the lives of His people, to be a blessing to them! Even though they were unworthy of his blessing! Is it not interesting that God never set His blessing and love upon a worthy nation? He chose an unworthy people to be His!

So, Zechariah’s book is about God! What do we learn about God in these first few verses?

1. God is ALWAYS ANGRY with the Sins and Sinfulness of man!

The Lord hath been sore displeased with your fathers. BOTH TESTAMENTS AFFIRM THE WRATH OF GOD along with His love for His own people. In Zechariah God was displeased with the waywardness and sinfulness of His own people! When our sins offend His holiness, he is angry!

  1. The extent of Gods wrath! God was angry with their fathers! This was the very reason that Judah had been taken into captivity in the first place. He will not be pleased with people who make it their business to trumpet their religion and yet at the same time live lives that are full of compromise with sin. Look with me at Jeremiah 7:3- 11
  2. The terror of Gods wrath! He is sore displeased! To say that he is ‘very angry’ (NKJV) is not forceful enough! John Calvin: God was in no common measure offended by the Jews, and the very grievousness of their punishment was a clear evidence how God was displeased with them.Hebrews 10:30-31

God had dealt with their sinful and disobedient forefathers so strongly, so Zechariah cries, FEAR GOD! The Lord is ‘slow to anger’ (Nahum 1:3) but let us not view His great patience as weakness or slowness or hesitance to deal with sin.

2. God offers ABUNDANT PARDON for sinners who repent!

  1. Consider the OFFER OF RESTORATION! Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. There is a great promise. If we repent, and turn from our wickedness, we shall find that the Lord is ready to accept us! He is waiting to grant us abundant pardon and forgiveness! The summons is for us to RETURN. Isaiah 55:6-7 Joel 2:12-13   Malachi 3:7   Matthew 3:2  
  2. Consider the MIGHT & POWER of He who calls us! Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Turn ye now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings: but they did not hear, nor hearken unto me, saith the Lord. The One who by His Grace turns our hearts away from sin and to Himself is the LORD of HOSTS! Time and again Zechariah refers to the Lord by that name!     He is Sovereign! He is Omnipotent! He is LORD! 1 Samuel 17:45

3. Men come and go But GODS WORD ABIDES FOREVER!

  • Gods Word COMES to us! Verse 1, came the word of the Lord. God SPEAKS TO PEOPLE! It CAME to Zechariah. Now I do not mean that God speaks to us today with an audible voice. He once did, but now we have His final Word. Hebrews 1:1-2   But He speaks to us through His Word, and through His Holy Spirit, by afflicting our consciences, by drawing us, in love and grace to Himself! He speaks to us through events and circumstances! Many of the prophesies of Zechariah concern the coming of Christ in the New Testament!
  • Gods Word is IMMUTABLE! The passage is full of references to the fathers of the people and the prophets of old. Listen to what the prophet says, Your fathers, where are they? and the prophets, do they live for ever? But my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not take hold of your fathers? and they returned and said, Like as the Lord of hosts thought to do unto us, according to our ways, and according to our doings, so hath he dealt with us. What lessons we can learn from history! Even as we stand at the start of a new year, let us give serious consideration to the events of the past!   Zechariah’s message is, ‘Learn the lessons of the past, and return to the Lord, that He may bless us and spiritually enrich us and use us in His kingdom.

There is still a Word from the Lord! God is not silent! It is the news that God is angry with sinners, but that there is pardon in Jesus! His word to you is COME! His word is not ‘depart from me,’ (One day it will be!) it is ‘come to me!’   Hear & Heed the Word of the Lord!

© Bob McEvoy

From → Zechariah

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