Zechariah 1:12–17 (NKJV)
12 Then the Angel of the Lord answered and said, “O Lord of hosts, how long will You not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which You were angry these seventy years?”
13 And the Lord answered the angel who talked to me, with good and comforting words. 14 So the angel who spoke with me said to me, “Proclaim, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts:
“I am zealous for Jerusalem
And for Zion with great zeal.
15 I am exceedingly angry with the nations at ease;
For I was a little angry,
And they helped—but with evil intent.”
This passages opens with a dialogue between Yahweh–the Lord–and His Angel about the length of mercy He is showing to Jerusalem. Will He extend His mercy? God answers Him by saying that for now He desires to restore Jerusalem zealously, but is angry with the nations who helped Him judge Israel and Judah, but with evil intent. The seventy years here may be an actual period of time, but there are also many references in the Bible and in other literature about the seventy year period as a symbolic amount of time to describe a long night of waiting. Either way, the long night is coming to an end.
16 ‘Therefore thus says the Lord:
“I am returning to Jerusalem with mercy;
My house shall be built in it,” says the Lord of hosts,
“And a surveyor’s line shall be stretched out over Jerusalem.” ’
17 “Again proclaim, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts:
“My cities shall again spread out through prosperity;
The Lord will again comfort Zion,
And will again choose Jerusalem.” ’ ”
Mercy is coming to Jerusalem. God’s purpose will be revealed. The House of God will be built. Four times in verse 17, the prophecy’s phrases include the word “again.” This shows that what God did before He will do again. What came in the form of a blessing is coming again. Proclaim again. My cities will prosper again. The Lord will comfort again. Yahweh will choose Jerusalem again. How long has your dark night lasted? What is your captivity or exile? God wants you to know that He will again choose you and use your for His glory. He will comfort you again. He will prosper you again. Trust Him. Again is just in sight!