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Zechariah 7-8

Talks for Growing Christians

Four Messages to the Jews Rebuilding the Temple

Zechariah 7-8

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Lesson Number 7

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The Lord desires righteousness rather than ritual.
  2. The Lord desires compassion rather than oppression.
  3. The Lord will turn problems into peace.
  4. The Lord will turn fasts into feasts.

Practical Application

  1. What seems like a big deal to us is only another day at the office for God.

Questions

  1. Why did the Jews living in Bethel send a delegation to Jerusalem?
  2. What did the fast of the fifth month commemorate?
  3. Why did they ask about keeping the fast?
  4. Did the priests give them an answer?
  5. When will the hypocritical hearts of many of the people be different?

Answers

  1. To ask the priests and prophets if they should continue to keep the fast of the fifth month.
  2. The destruction of Solomon’s Temple by the Babylonians.
  3. Because the temple was being rebuilt.
  4. No, but the Lord gave Zechariah the answer.
  5. In the future when Messiah’s kingdom is set up.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Zechariah’s first message is one of rebuke. He rebukes the people for keeping the fasts, not because they were wrong in themselves, but because of their hypocritical attitude. They were not fasting for the Lord; they were just going through religious motions. The Lord hates religious hypocrisy, then and today. The Lord desires righteousness rather than ritual. Is your heart really in tune with the Lord? Do you really want to worship Him, or are you bored and weary with divine things? Check your heart attitude toward the Lord. See Matthew 6: 21, 33.
  2. Zechariah’s second message is one of repentance. Many people were just going through religious motions when they fasted, and they also were falling back into their old ways of not carrying out social justice, and not showing mercy and compassion to the poor and needy. How do you measure up? How are you showing compassion to the poor and needy?
  3. Zechariah’s third message is one of restoration, both for the near and the far future. The land would be prosperous and the people would be blessed instead of disciplined. All God asked of them was that they practice truth, justice, and peace. The complete fulfillment of this prophecy awaits the second coming of Christ and His millennial kingdom. Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth and the Holy Mountain. This certainly isn’t the situation today, but it will be! Think of Jerusalem as the City of Peace. What a glorious day that will be!
  4. Zechariah’s fourth message is one of rejoicing. All of the empty fasts will be turned to joyful feasts when the Messiah sets up His kingdom here on this earth. In that day, Israel will be a channel of blessing for the nations of the world. Anticipate that great day!

Challenge

  1. The promised wonderful blessings of the future will be accomplished by God in His time. This is God’s way. He can do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20). What seems like a big deal to us is only another day at the office for God. What are you asking for? Expect great things from God!

Key Verses

  • “Execute true justice, show mercy and compassion…do not oppress others.” Zechariah 7:9-10
  • “I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations…the land became desolate.” Zechariah 7:14
  • “Behold, I will save My people and I will bring them back, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. They shall be My people and I will be their God.” Zechariah 8:7-8

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