READING: Zechariah 1-7
TEXTS AND APPLICATION: The book of Zechariah was written to discouraged Hebrews who had returned from exile, but who had not yet rebuilt the Temple. The first part of the book is built around a series of visions Zechariah had to convince the people that God was still working. Within the chapters read today are two reminders of the sins of the Hebrews’ ancestors — reminders that the people of God must not go that way again now that they had returned to the land.
The first statement is both clear and sad: “Do not be like your ancestors; the earlier prophets proclaimed to them: This is what the Lord of Hosts says: 'Turn from your evil ways and your evil deeds.' But they did not listen or pay attention to Me’—this is the Lord’s declaration” (Zech. 1:4). They did not listen or pay attention to God. That’s a dangerous move.
Indeed, read what God then said in chapter 7: “Just as He had called, and they would not listen, so when they called, 'I would not listen,'” says the Lord of Hosts (Zech. 7:13). The penalty for their not listening to God was equally, if not more, serious: He would not listen to their prayers. That's a heavy penalty to pay.
PRAYER: “God, please hear my prayers. Help me to live in such a way that (1) you always listen to my prayers, and (2) I hear your calls to repentance.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Zechariah 8-14