Zechariah 7

DateVersionReading Plan
@December 19, 2023ESV (2016)ESV Prophets Plan 2023


  • A Call for Justice and Mercy


A word of the Lord came to Zechariah in December of 518 BC. The people of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regem-melech and their men to ask the priests to whether they should weep and fast as they had done in the past. The LORD through Zechariah responded with convicting questions designed to elucidate how the fast was instituted by and directed for themselves rather than Him. God recalls how the former prophets gave the same exhortation and that He wants righteousness, not ritual. The people are given specific commands for righteous living, but refused to pay attention. With “hearts diamond-hard”, they turned a “stubborn shoulder” and “stopping their ears that they may not hear” (Zech. 7:11). The LORD reacts with “great anger” and reciprocates their refusal to hear Him with His own refusal to hear them. Their disobedience led to their being scattered “with a whirlwind among all the nations that had not known” and “the pleasant land was made desolate.” (Zech. 7:14).

How terrifying Zechariah’s prophecy would have been that the LORD would return their stubbornness by withholding His ear to their call. The original audience would have clearly understood how there is no greater peril than to have God turn away. As we read this, it is to be made known to us as well, that the LORD’s ear is open to entreaty to those who abide in His Word. As we are gripped by the Spirit and respond in obedience, He avails to us a closer intimacy with Himself and the blessing contained thereof.

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