Return to God and he will return to you.
The Bible reads, “In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, son of Iddo, saying, ‘The Lord was very angry with your fathers. Therefore say to them, Thus declares the Lord of hosts: Return to me, says the Lord of hosts, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts. Do not be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets cried out, Thus says the Lord of hosts, Return from your evil ways and from your evil deeds. But they did not hear or pay attention to me, declares the Lord. Your fathers, where are they? And the prophets, do they live forever? But my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not overtake your fathers? So they repented and said, As the Lord of hosts purposed to deal with us for our ways and deeds, so has he dealt with us'” (Zechariah 1:1-6, ESV).
Zechariah lived in a time that generation after generation had forgotten God. Their short memory had lasting consequences. They had lost their leadership and land. The temple foundation was left in ruins. But now they had a second chance. And in the midst of the desolation came a discovery. The old scrolls. The old prophecies. Warnings. Promises. A time to repent. A time to remember.
God often says something to one group and then has to wait years for another group to finally respond. Just look at the Exodus. How can thousands eyewitness the plagues and Red Sea and then be afraid of giants? Why settle for wanderings when the Promised Land is across the Jordan?
Is it any coincidence that Zechariah’s name literally means “Yahweh Remembered”? Now was the time to return.
Does the prophet’s message speak to our day and age? We will not ignore what God is doing. We will join him on the mission. His vision must become our vision. His work our own work. No more delays. No more distractions. No more disobedience. Remember who he is and what he is about. Remember why we are here. Remember what he has done. Remember what he is capable of.