Zechariah 7:8–14 (NKJV)
8 Then the word of the Lord came to Zechariah, saying, 9 “Thus says the Lord of hosts:
‘Execute true justice,
Show mercy and compassion
Everyone to his brother.
10 Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless,
The alien or the poor.
Let none of you plan evil in his heart
Against his brother.’
The Lord here declares His command to:
- execute justice
- show mercy
- stop oppression
- end evil.
God laid out a plan for Israel to be blessed. However, they ignored His commands and lived against His will, which resulted in punishment and discipline. This response of God was logical, in response to the actions of the people of God. In the remainder of this passage, the Lord explains to them why the discipline came.
11 But they refused to heed, shrugged their shoulders, and stopped their ears so that they could not hear. 12 Yes, they made their hearts like flint, refusing to hear the law and the words which the Lord of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets. Thus great wrath came from the Lord of hosts. 13 Therefore it happened, that just as He proclaimed and they would not hear, so they called out and I would not listen,” says the Lord of hosts. 14 “But I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations which they had not known. Thus the land became desolate after them, so that no one passed through or returned; for they made the pleasant land desolate.”
The path to discipline was not a short one. Instead, Israel heaped up offense after offense. They ignored God, not hearing His commands. Then they called on God for help, and He did not respond. Then the Lord scattered them, and their land became desolate. This downward trend in Israel’s history was intense and steep.
What does this mean for us today? We must understand that, even though we are in an “age of grace,” God still expects obedience from His people. A wanton desire for the world or its pleasures should logically bring the disapproval of the Lord Most High. However, the church of today often mixes the opinions and culturally-influenced ideas of today with the truth of God’s word, picking and choosing from many fountains, until each individual worships according to their own eclectic code of morality. This cannot be! God’s truth is the only turh, and all others should be measured by it. God’s truth is right and holy and timeless. This picture of Israel and Judah falling due to disobedience should be a wake up call to the church of today. Don’t disobey…the results are devastating.zech 7:12