Day 1

A Plea for Repentance

from the Zechariah and Malachi reading plan

Zechariah 1:1-21, Zechariah 2:1-13, Psalm 35:27-28, Revelation 21:22-27

BY Rebecca Faires

From beginning to end, the Bible tells the story of God’s redemptive plan. Zechariah’s prophecies anticipate the grand culmination of history, describing a coming glorious king and a world where everything is set right. While Zechariah prophesies judgment for the wicked, his message is filled with hope and glorious promises for God’s people.

Zechariah’s eight visions portend restoration for the righteous and punishment for the unrepentant. At the heart of these prophecies is the promise that the Lord is the one who enables repentance. The message of Zechariah’s first three night visions amounts to one urgent directive: repent.

First, we see an angel (some scholars suggest this is a figure of Christ) standing among the myrtle trees, sending out messengers to do His will, speaking words of comfort and love for God’s people. He promises restoration and mercy, offering an invitation to come back to Him: “Return to me… and I will return to you” (Zechariah 1:3).

Some people hold up an image of the God of the Old Testament as being angry all the time, but that’s a false image—one that’s quite inconsistent with Scripture as a whole. No matter where we turn in the pages of the Bible, we will find a God who is holy and who hates evil, but simultaneously loves His creation and offers abundant mercy to all who will heed His tender offer. And that’s what we see in Zechariah.

The second vision is of the might of Judah’s oppressors, which appear as horns. But their oppression is short-lived, as craftsmen approach and quickly dismantle their power. The third vision is of a surveyor, measuring the city of Jerusalem, the city of God’s people. Here, we again see God’s abundant mercy and blessing, as God’s people, set free from their captivity, have their dwelling place with God.

If we’d lived in Zechariah’s day, we, too, would have a long list of grievances to call our courage into question. The temple, whose foundations had been laid by the returning Jewish exiles, remained incomplete—a seemingly hopeless, abandoned project. Prophets had come and gone, but their words had made little effect. The people of Judah still did not seem to have a vision for a restored kingdom, and instead intermingled with the world around them.

Have you also looked about and found discouragement in your world? Have you seen a lackluster church or half-hearted believers? Perhaps you have found these same roots of a sluggish faith in your own heart and are discouraged. Here is the good news: Christ, the Lord of Armies, comes to us, riding on a white horse. He has come to unseat the power of the oppressor and to set free the captives. He beckons to the sluggish, Come out of Babylon! (Zechariah 2:7). Christ the Lord of hosts has come to dwell with His people, bringing joy and gladness! (v.10).

Often our great discouragement comes from fixing our eyes on the woes of the world and the trepidations of our heart, rather than fixing our eyes upon Christ. The anger of the Lord of armies is a call to bring us back home. Zechariah reminds us that our vision is to be fixed upon Him alone.

Post Comments (81)

81 thoughts on "A Plea for Repentance"

  1. Kyrie Thomas says:

    Wow. Very well written. Look to Christ always! Repent!

  2. Rachel AnneDwyer says:

    I love the verse in Zechariah 1:5-6.
    Everything in our world is temporary but the words and statutes of the Lord are permanent reminders of our Great God. Today I want to focus upon the permanency of his word and allow it to deal with me.

  3. Ellen Mahurin says:

    I was just talking about this today in my bible study… how we as people tend to forget that we are the modern day Israelites…. we constantly forget God’s promises to us and we are constantly going back to the old ways of our sin. Reading over and over again about this is really helping me remember God’s promises to me and being in the word daily has helped me stay focused on the kingdom

  4. Kirsten Cragg says:

    I know a lot of people who struggle with the idea of “two Gods” the OT God and the NT God. Heck even I’ve struggle with that. But it is so cool to see how consistent God is in both parts of the bible. Him restoring justice is Him being a God of love.

  5. Lyn Feathers says:

    But for GRACE…

  6. Kapua Rasmussen says:

    Powerful daily devotional, SRT. Love the Jesus community here!

  7. Erin Pettengill says:

    I went to a conference many years ago, and the running theme was “repent early and repent often.” words to live by.

  8. Heather Durham says:

    What jumped out to me was verse 14 “ 14So the angel who talked with me said to me, ‘Cry out, Thus says the Lord of hosts: I am exceedingly jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion.” God is a jealous God. I haven’t always understood this phrase. Today it jumped out at me. God wanted me to see it, hear it, know it. God wants me. As His daughter, He desires me to walk with Him, to seek Him, to know Him. He wants my time. He wants my heart. When I think of how I feel when I am jealous of something or someone, I know how much it consumes my thoughts. Could God possibly love me enough to be consumed with me? Teaching me, guiding me, leading me? Being present for me even when I had no idea or even when I was choosing something less than God. Yes! The answer is yes! He knows I will make mistakes but He is eager to teach me and mold me into the being He created me to be. Just as he never abandoned the people of Judah, He will never abandon me.

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