2498.) Zechariah 7

Zechariah 7 (NIV)

Justice and Mercy, Not Fasting

1 In the fourth year of King Darius, the word of the LORD came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, the month of Kislev (December 7, 518 B.C.). 2 The people of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regem-Melek, together with their men, to entreat the LORD 3by asking the priests of the house of the LORD Almighty and the prophets, “Should I mourn and fast in the fifth month, as I have done for so many years?”

from Psalm 137 (ESV)

How Shall We Sing the LORD’s Song?

By the waters of Babylon,  
there we sat down and wept,  
when we remembered Zion.

On the willows there  
we hung up our lyres.
For there our captors  
required of us songs,
and our tormentors, mirth, saying,  
“Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”

How shall we sing the LORD’s song
in a foreign land?
If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
let my right hand forget its skill!
Let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth,
if I do not remember you,
if I do not set Jerusalem
above my highest joy!

The matter brings up an issue relevant today: How long should we remember and mourn over our past? Should we do things to remember either our sin or the tragedies of the past? For example — I live in Georgia, where many towns have statues to heroes of the Confederacy . . . sincere and thoughtful people have very differing opinions about how to best deal with the past.

4 Then the word of the LORD Almighty came to me: 5 “Ask all the people of the land and the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months for the past seventy years, was it really for me that you fasted? 6 And when you were eating and drinking, were you not just feasting for yourselves? 7 Are these not the words the LORD proclaimed through the earlier prophets when Jerusalem and its surrounding towns were at rest and prosperous, and the Negev and the western foothills were settled?’”

God rebukes hypocrisy and self indulgence, of course.

“There is no need to observe the sad anniversaries of our sins and their accompanying punishment, if once we are assured of God’s free forgiveness. When He forgives and restores, the need for dwelling on the bitter past is over … Too many of us are always dwelling beside the graves of the dead past.”

–F. B. Meyer

8 And the word of the LORD came again to Zechariah: 9 “This is what the LORD Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. 10 Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.’

Micah 6:6-8 (NLT)

What can we bring to the Lord?
      What kind of offerings should we give him?
   Should we bow before God
      with offerings of yearling calves?
Should we offer him thousands of rams
      and ten thousand rivers of olive oil?
   Should we sacrifice our firstborn children
      to pay for our sins?

No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good,
      and this is what he requires of you:
   to do what is right, to love mercy,
      and to walk humbly with your God.

11 “But they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their backs and covered their ears. 12 They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the LORD Almighty had sent by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. So the LORD Almighty was very angry.

Verses 11 and 12 give us a vivid description of how to disobey the Lord.

13 “‘When I called, they did not listen; so when they called, I would not listen,’ says the LORD Almighty. 14 ‘I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations, where they were strangers. The land they left behind them was so desolate that no one traveled through it. This is how they made the pleasant land desolate.’”



Well, let’s not make the same mistake the Israelites did! Let’s “Listen to the Lord,” sung  HERE  by Neworldson, a Canadian Christian pop/soul group. Note:  NOT your mother’s music! This is quite fun!

Long before that I was bonafide
Demons walkin’ ‘round the streets outside
Come-a-knockin’ always at my door
Now I know what they were comin’ for
Scratch and claw, scream and yell
Call my name and ring my bell
But the Holy Ghost sent me a sword
All because that day…

I listened to the Lord
Listened to the Lord
I listened to the Lord
Listened to the Lord

What ain’t Truth, you know, is counterfeit
Words ain’t nothin’ but the half of it
They got idols up at City Hall
They want Righteousness to take the fall
But the writing’s up there on the wall
My Messiah’s gonna judge us all
So I’m signin’ up to join the war
And when my General calls…

I’ll listen to the Lord
Gonna listen to the Lord
Listen to the Lord
Listen to the Lord

David dusty in a desert land
Hidin’ away from a tyrant’s hand
He sang the blues and strummed that chord
And God said: play on Dave

He listened to the Lord
Listened to the Lord
He listened to the Lord
Listened to the Lord
I’m gonna listen to the Lord
Listen to the Lord
I’m gonna listen to the Lord
Listen to the Lord


New International Version (NIV)   Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica

Images courtesy of:
Zechariah 7:9-10.   http://oneyearbibleimages.com/zechariah7_9-10.jpg
weeping under the willows.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/psalm137-400.jpg
show mercy and compassion.   https://wiirocku.tumblr.com/post/171729108987/zechariah-79-niv-this-is-what-the-lord

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