-The prophet gets another Word from the LORD in the fourth year of Persian King Darius on the fourth day of the ninth month, which is Chislev. Bethel (i.e.- the House of God) township had sent some men to seek the favor of the LORD. They spoke to the priests in the Temple area of Jerusalem along with the prophets, of which Zechariah was one. They were seeking guidance on whether or not they should keep observing a fast and time of mourning in the summer time, which they had done many years after the destruction of Judah and the taking of the Jews into captivity. Zechariah gets the Word from the LORD that they needed to make sure that this fast and time of mourning was actually for Him and not themselves. These holy words were issued to them from previous prophets when the land was inhabited and prosperous, but they apparently needed a refresher (Zechariah 7:1-7).
-Then the Word of the LORD came to Zechariah to “dispense true justice and practice kindness and compassion each to his brother; and do not oppress the widow or the orphan, the stranger or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another (Zechariah 7:8-9).” However, the people had “refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears from hearing. They made their hearts like flint so that they could not hear the Law and the words which the LORD of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets; therefore great wrath came from the LORD of hosts. And just as He called and they would not listen, so they called and I would not listen,” said the LORD (Zechariah 7:10-13). In other words, this was the breaking point, and God scattered them with His storm wind to all the nations, which they did not know. Their pleasant land lay behind desolated with no one going back and forth on it (Zechariah 7:14).
-*Application* When it comes to fasting, do we do it properly? Repentance and worship should be our primary concerns when we seek the LORD, not a program or to make ourselves feel better about ourselves. In other words, habits without conviction are fruitless and really a waste of our time. Further, we can bring the wrath of God upon ourselves when we lack compassion and refuse to listen to the wisdom of His Holy Spirit. Don’t let your heart become “like flint.” Hardening, ignoring, and refusing God when He calls can do immeasurable damage. Instead, cultivate sensitivity and submission to God’s Word. Let your heart be pliable and live better. May the lands of our lives be forever pleasant and not desolate in the sight of the LORD.
Verses to Memorize: Zechariah 7:8-9