Hearts Like Flint

A brand new lawyer in his brand new office on his first day in practice sees a prospective client walk in the door. He decides he should look busy, so he picks up the phone and starts talking: “Look, Harry, about that amalgamation deal. I think I better run down to the f … More

Formalism

 

In this chapter it now seems that two years have passed since the visions occurred in the first six chapters. A delegation had been sent to Jerusalem from the exiled Hebrews in Babylon to seek a definite solution to an apparently troublesome problem (vv. 1-3). For the previous 70 years, the people had been holding a fast in August to remember the destruction of Jerusalem (II Kings 25:8,9). These visitors were to ask the priests and prophets whether it was necessary to continue to fast during the month of August in commemoration of the temple’s destruction. Now that the temple and Jerusalem are prospering, why should they continue to weep annually and officially.

In this second half of this seventh chapter we find Zechariah’s prophecy:

  1. Showing what God desired (vv. 4-10).
  2. Telling what the people actually did (vv. 11-12).
  3. Indicating what Jehovah had to do (vv. 13-14).
The Israelites had lost their sincere desire for a loving relationship with God. Zechariah told them that they had been fasting without a proper attitude of repentance or worship. The Lord denounces the disobedience of the people who sent them and the hypocrisy of the hosts. Fasting had been carried out as a mere formality and not by an act of true repentance. Their eating and drinking had been for their own benefit (v. 6).

Application

It is not because I go through various formalities of religion that all is well between me and God?  Outward formalities are worthless if my heart is not right with God.

Zechariah 7:1-14 (English Standard Version)


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