Friday, April 26, 2013

Zechariah 7


[1] And it came to pass in the fourth year of king Darius, that the word of the LORD came unto Zechariah in the fourth day of the ninth month, even in Chisleu;
·         Two years before the temple was finished, and two years after the previous vision. This would be December 518BC.

[2] When they had sent unto the house of God Sherezer and Regem-melech, and their men, to pray before the LORD,
·         Likely they came to where the temple was being built, the city of Jerusalem.
·         The people from the surrounding regions send their ambassador to ask the question for them

[3] And to speak unto the priests which were in the house of the LORD of hosts, and to the prophets, saying, Should I weep in the fifth month, separating myself, as I have done these so many years?
·         God only required fasting once, Lev 23:27, on the day their sins were atoned for.
·         They had set up a fast in the fifth month for the lost temple, (among others) and now want to know if that is something that should be done further, in light of a new temple being built
·         The Pharisees asked this question in a presumptive manner “Why don’t your disciples fast”
·         The question appears today in the form of should we reflect over our previous sins?

[4] Then came the word of the LORD of hosts unto me, saying,
·         God graciously and quickly (it seems) answers this request.
·         They take it for granted that He would even answer their request at all.
·         Jesus often arrested a certain line of questioning with a completely different and strange answer. “Will the number of the elect be few” “You worry about yourself.”

[5] Speak unto all the people of the land, and to the priests, saying, When ye fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh month, even those seventy years, did ye at all fast unto me, even to me?
·         In fact the Israelites in Babylon were doing it for themselves. They are like children who sulk because they get caught, not because they did something wrong.
·         Scribes and Pharisees look haggard when they are fasting, but they are seeking a reward from men. They have received their reward in full.

[6] And when ye did eat, and when ye did drink, did not ye eat for yourselves, and drink for yourselves?
·         This is a strong rebuke, however they did eat and drink for themselves. Sacrificing was a mere formality for them. In Malachi they are warned to stop bringing unsuitable animals to sacrifice
·         There is no concern to worship God

[7] Should ye not hear the words which the LORD hath cried by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and in prosperity, and the cities thereof round about her, when men inhabited the south and the plain?
·         The prophets warned of a coming destruction and their fathers didn’t listen. If God has placed them back in Jerusalem then they should rejoice. They are still not listening nor watching Him.

[8] And the word of the LORD came unto Zechariah, saying,
·         Now there is time for them to think about the vision God has given them, and they digest it.
·         Your whole premise is wrong, you are fasting because that’s something you thought you should do, but better than inventing things for yourselves should you not do what I told you?
·         Paul says in Romans they are inventors of evil. This is such an evil and that was such an invention. It seems harmless because we don’t understand it properly.

[9] Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother:
·         Go and learn the meaning of this: I desire mercy, not sacrifice
·         The modern Catholic Church is rampant with this sad legalism. I find it easier to confess and be sorrowful every once in awhile than to live out a holy life.
·         This is the second command: love your neighbor as yourself.
·         It’s telling that even this commandment is ignored by man. Man is so set against God that all of His good commandments, which are good for us, are rebelled against.

[10] And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart.
·         This is going to be picked up later for the Sermon on the Mount. Do not hate in your heart.
·         Again, they were sorry for the punishment that their behavior brought, but they were not sorry for the behavior. Crushing the poor and weak should have brought them grief, but here they are after the exile still doing it.

[11] But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear.
·         Their rebellion was simple: they did not want to hear the words of God.
·         This is in the New Testament as well, they stopped their ears and rushed at Stephen that they should not hear the gospel.
·         This is a similar thought to Matthew 13:13, John 12:40. They do not want to hear, they will resist hearing

[12] Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts.
·         This is why Ezekiel 36:26 is necessary, we have hearts of stone.
·         God sent His spirit to the prophets of old, and He even told them the people would not listen. See Is 6

[13] Therefore it is come to pass, that as he cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, saith the LORD of hosts:
·         As each man has sown so will each man reap.
·         Those who confess me before men, I will confess before God.
·         This does not mean that they cried out to God, because when they do that He relents. They would cry out but not to Him. They would express their misery but not to repent of it.

[14] But I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations whom they knew not. Thus the land was desolate after them, that no man passed through nor returned: for they laid the pleasant land desolate.
·         This was a necessity because God had promised through Moses that He would boot them from the good land for bad behavior.

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