Thursday, November 06, 2008

Thoughts on Zechariah 1:1-6

OK, you're now the victims of my study. I need to work through Zechariah and provide a theological and pastoral reflection for each. This is going to be pretty rough, but I figure it's a good way to "get things on paper".

So, Zechariah 1:1-6. I reckon this is a call for Zechariah's generation to remember the reality of the exile and realise they must repent. In his context, that means building the temple. (Haggai sits right before this chapter.) Within his rhetoric, he sees the vindication of the former prophets in that what they said came to pass, and so their ethical code belongs to today. And most central to that code is faithfulness to Yahweh.

There's some great reflection here about the ongoing voice of God's word (just like in Deuteronomy 5 where the commandments spoken at Sinai are seen as spoken to their children). But there is also the warning of not repenting—the warnings of God have an expiry date. His patience extends only so long.

In the new testament, we find all Scripture useful for rebuke and correction (2 Tim 3:16), including messages to the people of Israel long ago. And we are warned that God is patient, but his patience has a limit. God is longsuffering because he wants us to repent (2 Peter) but there is a day of reckoning (2 Peter 3).

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