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Repentance    Zechariah  1:1-6;  2:7-13     July 15, 2007

 

Introduction

            Haggai and Zachariah preached during the same time period.  Many of God’s people returned from the Babylonian Captivity but several were just trickling back and the Temple did not seem to be the priority with the people that is was with God.  God called for repentance but the people were slow to respond.  As we look across America don’t we see church members who seem lackadaisical in building up the church, and slow to repent in answer to a call given to exalt the Lord?  Today there remains a call for Repentance.

 

1.              The . . Call To Repentance.   1:1-4

       A.              The . . Anger Of The Call To Repentance.  1:1-2

                    1 In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Zechariah son of Berechiah, son of Iddo: 2 “The Lord was extremely angry with your ancestors. 

 

          B.       The . . Announcement Of The Call To Repentance.  1:3
                        3 So tell the people: This is what the Lord of Hosts says: Return to Me”—[this

is]the declaration of the Lord of Hosts—“and I will return to you, says the Lord of Hosts.

 

        C.       The . . Avoiding Of The Call To Repentance.  1:4
                        4 Do not be like your ancestors; the earlier prophets proclaimed to them: This is

what the Lord of Hosts says: Turn from your evil ways and your evil deeds. But they did not listen or pay attention to Me”—the Lord’s declaration.

 

As we look at these verses we very easily see the anger, and abiding, of the Lord in this call to

repentance.  We also notice the avoidance of this call from the people.  Satan does a good job in causing most of us to think sinful practices are pleasurable, and repentance is not a pleasing experience.  This caused, and causes the anger of the Lord against His people.  His call to repentance is an abiding call.  He does not stop calling His rebellious people to repentance.  In our text the people did their best to avoid the call.  Does that sound greatly different from the actions of His people today?  One of our older hymns repeats the words, “why not, why not, why not come to Him now?”  I know of no good reason to give when we fail to come to Him inrepentance. 

2.       The . . Conclusion From The Lack Of Repentance.   1:5-6   

        A.              The . . Culmination In The Conclusion Of Repentance.  1:5-6a
        5 “Where are your ancestors now? And do the prophets live forever?  6 But didn’t My words and My statutes that I commanded My servants the prophets overtake your ancestors?  

        B.        The . . Confessing In The Conclusion Of Repentance.  1:6b

                        “. . . They repented and said: As the Lord of Hosts purposed to deal with us for our ways and deeds, so He
                     has dealt with us.”  

 

            What conclusion do we make based upon an unrepentant people?  I conclude that an unrepentant people does not change God’s plan or call for repentance one iota.  These people possessed the insight to share with us what the lack of repentance cost them.  It cost their relationship with, and blessing from, the Lord.  They were returning from captivity, but only through obedience to God’s call will they enjoy all God has for them.  Ultimately these people repented, and seem to lament the fact that they waited so long, and they tell us that the Lord dealt with them just as He promised.


3.       The . . Chosen For Repentance.   1:7-13  
        A.
             
The . . Glory In The Chosen Of Repentance.  1:7-8
            7 “Go, Zion! Escape, you who are living with Daughter Babylon.” 8 For the Lord of

Hosts says this: “He has sent Me for [His] glory against the nations who are plundering you, for anyone who touches you touches the pupil of His eye.

 

          B.        The . . Gratification In The Chosen Of Repentance.  1:9-11
           
9 I will move against them with My power, and they will become plunder for their own servants. Then you will know that the Lord of Hosts has sent Me.  10 “Daughter Zion, shout for joy and be glad, for I am coming to dwell among you”—the Lord’s declaration.   11 “Many nations will join themselves to the Lord on that day and become My people.  I will dwell among you, and you will know that the Lord of Hosts has sent Me to you.

 

        C.        The . . Guarantee To The Chosen Of Repentance.  1:12-13 
            12 The Lord will take possession of Judah as His portion in the Holy Land, and He will once again choose Jerusalem. 13 Let all people be silent before the Lord, for He is coming from His holy dwelling.” 

 

            Why did God call His people back to Jerusalem, and also call them to repentance?  We see the simple reason as He did it for His glory, and the advancement of His people.  Some of Israel planned to stay in Babylon because they were enjoying worldly comforts and success.  God called them to get out of Babylon, and today He calls us to get out of the world and live for Him.  The Lord was and is gratified through the obedience of His people, and promises to protect them, and He will be gratified in so doing.  As God works with His people all the nations of the world will, and presently does, enjoy the blessings of God.  It is the guarantee of God to all who obediently answer the call for Repentance!  Amen?  Amen!