"Literal Prophecies, Dated."
Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's
transcription/ location is provided by http://www.theseason.org
Zechariah 7:1 "And it came to pass in the fourth year of king Darius, that the word of the Lord came unto Zechariah in the fourth day of the ninth month, even in Chisleu;
This vision came to Zechariah two years after his first vision from God. "Chisleu" is the Hebrew month that corresponds to our month of December.
Zechariah 7:2 "When they had sent unto the house of God Sherezer and Regemmelech, and their men, to pray before the Lord,"
They wanted a message from God, and they sent these men to the house of God to get it, for they were confused as to the meaning of God's Word.
Zechariah 7:3 "And to speak unto the priests which were in the house of the Lord of hosts, and to the prophets, saying, Should I weep in the fifth month, separating myself, as I have done these so many years?"
Those years of weeping were the seventy years of captivity. After many years of weeping, it became more a tradition, then a matter of great spiritual loss. These men are inquiring if it is necessary to continue in their traditions of weeping that they had become so use to. This exact "day of weeping" was not established by God, but by man. The whole idea in the first place was to set aside a time that these men could cry and try to feel sorry for themselves. God is using this punishment as a time of correction for these "Poor babies!"
Zechariah 7:4 "Then came the word of the Lord of hosts unto me, saying,"
Zechariah 7:5 "Speak unto all the people of the land, and to the priests, saying, When ye fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh month, even those seventy years, did ye at all fast unto me, even to me?"
God is asking these stiff-necked characters; When you fasted for all those seventy years, did you even know who I am? When you went through your traditional forms, did you know that I am your God?
God caused them to go into captivity for a purpose, and that purpose was to let the people of the house of Judah know He will not stand for their idolatry. In that entire time of captivity, these men of Judah went through the form of worship, yet they missed the whole purpose for their testing.
Zechariah 7:6 "And when ye did eat, and when ye did drink, did not ye eat for yourselves, and drink for yourselves?"
God is reminding them that when their fasts ended they went right back to their old ways. They forgot who God was; and God said, your fellowship was not for me.
Zechariah 7:7 "Should ye not hear the words which the Lord hath cried by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and in prosperity, and the cities thereof round about her, when men inhabited the south and the plain?"
God is saying to them that back when they inhabited their lands and cities, and you went to your "Beth'-el" [the house of God], you had your priorities mixed up. Your worship became a social thing, and not a time to worship me. You played church games as you fellowshipped with yourselves. You should have remembered what God had sent to you through the prophets in the good old days. It was then that God blessed you, but He will not this sniffling, crybaby stuff your doing now.
God is asking these men that came to Zechariah; "Have you remembered God when the times were good for you?" The elect of God sure do.
Zechariah 7:8 "And the word of the Lord came unto Zechariah, saying,"
Zechariah 7:9 "Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother:"
This is not Zechariah speaking, but God venting His feelings.
When they asked what they should do to get right with their Heavenly Father, His answer was that they get back into God's true judgments. God gave them His instructions through the prophets as to how to live and treat their neighbors, and now God is telling them to get back into the ways that I have already given you. Don't be so stiff-necked to each other, but be kind and gentle and show understanding to each other.
Exercising "true judgment" means to be fair and not wimpish, but sound and firm in all your actions. It also means that your compassion is to be given when it is earned. Christians are not to be pushovers, for they must stand their ground when it is required.
Zechariah 7:10 "And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart."
After thru judgment has been executed, you must be fair with one another in your heart and minds. Seek answers through prayer when your actions to a brother are in doubt. God can and will change minds, both yours and your brothers to heal differences.
Zechariah 7:11 "But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear."
When Zechariah told them what God had said to them, they stopped work, hardened their hearts, and closed their minds to God. In fact, they spitefully went out to harm their brother. This is what the forefathers did in their captivity, and that's what many do today. There is nothing new. Most churches today are as stiff-necked as their forefathers in Zechariah's day.
A man will sit in church on Sunday pretending to be spiritual, and then foreclose of the widows house on Monday. They will smile to a man in church on Wednesday night prayer meeting, then talk behind his back and steal from him on Thursday. Yet when prayer is needed by the brothers, the gossip factory starts instead of earnest prayer. No friend, there is not much difference between most Christians of today, and their stiff-necked forefathers. This is part of the reason churches today just don't understand why the world will have no part in their spiritual games and foolishness.
Zechariah 7:12 "Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the low, and the words which the Lord of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the Lord of hosts."
When you close your ears and minds to the Word of God, and stay with traditions and church games, there is no way you can obey God. These forefathers were as hard as a rock in their hearts and their habits and traditions. God gave them His Word through the prophets; He gave them His laws to live by and be blessed by, and they simply did not want to hear what God had to say.
Doesn't it sound like our modern day practice? When they refused to listen, God sent them curses, and then when the curses came you can sit back and watch the tears flow, and the complaining starts. There is nothing new under the sun, for as things were so shall the be again.
Zechariah 7:13 "Therefore it is come to pass, that as he cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, saith the Lord of hosts:"
We saw this pattern above, first they turned their backs on God and His laws; then on their neighbors, and then they sit back and simply cannot figure out what went wrong when the curses start to flow their way. Next time a religious cry-baby comes around to sob on your shoulder, ask Him a few questions. It becomes obvious where the real problem is; it is in his [her] heart [mind]. His mind will be hard as a rock. Even though that person is asking for you help, he or she just doesn't want to hear your advice. He or she only to draw off your sympathy, which makes their heart even harder.
God is angry with these people and with anyone that would pamper them. Though I have little use for this type of person, when a real need is there and present, the true man [woman] of God should rise to the occasion.
This chapter allows us to see that there is no difference between our forefathers, living in 407 B.C., and the end of the 1990's; mankind hasn't changed much.
Zechariah 7:14 "But I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations whom they know not. Thus the land was desolate after them, that no man passed through nor returned: for they laid the pleasant land desolate."
God scattered them with a tempest. Both nations, the House of Israel, and the House of Judah were chased from the land God gave them, because of the hardness of their hearts. Though Palestine was laid desolate for two thousand years, and void of God's word, the time is near when God will draw both houses back to Him. God scattered most of the "House of Israel" so far that their people don't know where they fit into God's plan, or who they are. God knows them, each one of them, and shortly He will draw them to Himself.
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