Explore the Bible Series
July 29, 2007
Background Passage: Zechariah 7:1-8:23
Lesson Passage: Zechariah 7:1-14
Book of Zechariah was written to encourage the Lordís people as they
recommitted themselves to rebuilding the ruined city of
Too often, one hears disgraceful stories of churches plagued with moral corruption.† I can speak from experience of the embarrassment and dismay that pastorís feel when they have people in their community tell them of shady business practices and serious moral lapses of church members (no doubt, those who do not serve as pastors feel the same way).† These things dishonor the Lord, grieve the Holy Spirit, discredit the church, and cut the nerve of effective evangelism.
Zechariah recounted similar conduct among the pre-exilic Jews, and he identified some of this corruption in Chapter Seven: oppression of the poor and helpless, devising evil against one another, callous hardness of heart against the Law of the Lord, and, above all, refusing to hear the Holy Spirit as he spoke through Godís anointed prophets (See vv. 9-14).† God exercised great patience toward his recalcitrant people, but, in time, his patience grew thin, and Jehovah brought a severe chastening on his people.† Zechariah hoped to insure that his generation did not degenerate into the same kind of rebellion found among previous generations.† Christians must be good historians, learning from the mistakes of the past and, by Godís help working to preserve the holiness of the people of God.
Today, Godís people must guard against the same kinds of
things occurring in their churches.†
Though God is patient, he will not allow moral corruption to pollute his
church and denigrate his holy name.† In
time, he will exact his judgment on those who practice such things and he will purify
his church. The Prophet Zechariah understood the issues that had troubled
The Former Sins of
important inquiry (vv. 1-3): Two years after Zechariah received the night
visions, the people who lived near
answer (vv. 4-14): The prophet received an answer from the Lord, and, above
all, God probed the genuineness of the peopleís worship (vv. 5-6). Like their
1. the nature of
2. the consequences of sin: they provoked the Lordís anger, God refused to hear their prayers, he scattered them among the nations, and he left their land desolate.
II. Godís Purpose of Grace (8:1-23)
B. An encouragement to strength (vv. 9-13): The Lord promised that he would not deal with his remnant as he had the sinful generations of the past. The previous sinful conditions had rendered the people worthless, but God would not deal with them as in the former days.† They would, the prophet predicted, sow peace and reap the blessings of the Lord.† This paragraph begins and ends with encouragement for Godís people to remain strong in the faithfulness to the Lord.† In my judgment, these prophecies center on the redemptive work of Christ and its glorious fruits among the elect.
irresistible purposes of the Lord (vv. 14-17): In the former days, God
determined to bring disaster on rebellious
grounds of joyous celebration (vv. 18-23): The Lordís blessings would transform
the religious life of