THE ZEAL IN ZECHARIAH FOR THE LORD
The book of Zechariah displays multiple challenges and testing of faith.
I must admit I had a struggle with the contrast of events as written, even confronting. In Joel 3/12 we are forewarned of the Lord’s intent for the future of his Jerusalem to be reclaimed. He says in Joel, …..’for there I will sit to judge all the nations on every side and in verse 14, ‘Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision.’
In Zechariah and with him, we follow his experiences through some challenging walks as the Lord lets loose seventy years of frustration and anger over how all he reigns over has lost the plot, all his nations. We are led through visions of horses in four colors going out across all the land, we are presented with pastures of sheep who are lost without a shepherd and whole nations punished for their treatment and lack of respect for their shepherd. Yet, when the angel of the Lord said, ‘Lord Almighty, how long will you withhold mercy from Jerusalem, and the towns of Judah, which you have been angry with these seventy years.’ Verse 13 – So the Lord spoke kind and comforting words to the angel who talked to Zechariah.
In Chapter 7, the word of the Lord came to Zechariah, ‘Show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow of the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other.’ But they refused to pay attention, stubbornly they turned their backs and stopped up their ears. So the Lord Almighty became very angry. His reaction and punishment was immediate but still his compassion and justice poured forth.
How often have we stopped up our ears from listening to the Holy Spirit or turned our backs on people in need? Zechariah’s Lord Almighty was harsh to the people of Jerusalem and Judah but as our God sometimes says to us, ‘Enough is enough!’
May we never turn our backs to his loving heart.