The more prophecy we know and understand the more we will live in a way that reflects the testimony, character, and ways of Messiah Yeshua. Prophecy prepares us to be found faithful when the Kingdom of G-d is established on earth. For these reasons, we are going to embark on a study through this very important book of Zechariah. We begin by reading Zechariah 1:1-6. All comments are based on the NKJV.
v1: Darius was a king who reigned at a time of transition. He began to reign near the end of the Jewish exile in Babylon, just before the Jewish people started to return to the land of Israel (Dan 9:1-2, at the end of the allotted 70years)
· Zechariah’s contemporaries would have been Ezra (the priest and scribe- see Ezra 5:1) and Nehemiah (the governor, see Neh 8:4-9, Neh 12:12-26). They lived during the time of the rebuilding of Jerusalem as well as (eventually) the rebuilding of the temple.
· Matt 23:35 tells us that Zechariah was rejected (and murdered) as a prophet by the people in his day.
v2: We need to remember history (particularly Biblical history) so that we can avoid the same mistakes that our (fore)fathers made. G-d brought these exiled people back to their land. This verse is a warning to this new generation to respond differently to the way that the previous generations had responded. G-d didn’t want this new generation to suffer the same fate as the previous generation- i.e. exile.
v3: G-d, who does not lie, is making a promise. If we respond to G-d He WILL respond to us.
· “L-rd of Hosts”: This is a name of G-d that means “L-rd of the armies”. It is a prophetic expression that has to do with the power of G-d to bring about His will.
v4: The forefathers paid little attention to the prophets (we need to be a people who are interested in the prophetic Word – Rev 19:10. Prophesy reveals to us who Yeshua is)
· The former prophets were Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel etc
· Evil = all those things that are unrelated to the will of G-d. The path we walk on determines what our practices (actions) become. (Jer 6:16)
· “Hear…heed” – listen in order to obey, to do.
v5: The answer to the first question: They went into exile (Babylon) where many of them died.
· Answer to question 2: The prophets and their prophesying comes to an end. We still have the chance to respond, but our time to respond will also come to an end. If we do not respond correctly our lives will end in disaster.
v6: G-d’s words were (and still are) true. The forefathers ignored prophetic truth and they were overcome by it – it happened to them as G-d had said.
· Another word used for repentance is “turned” or “returned”. When G-d returned them to their land they realized that G-d had been true and faithful to His Word and had done what He had promised to do. G-d gave the people another opportunity to respond to Him.
· ‘L-rd of hosts determined’ = Deut 30:19-20. G-d’s plan, from the beginning, was to bless us. It is our choice how we respond though…
What a powerful opening to a book of prophecy!