Journey Through The Scriptures

The Prophecy of Zechariah

Lesson 1: A Call to Return to the Lord

(Scripture to Read: Zechariah 1:12:13)

The prophet Zechariah, whose name means “the LORD remembers,” had a unique calling from God. Zechariah’s message is perhaps the most apocalyptic of all the prophets of Scripture, portraying Israel’s glorious future in the Messianic age. Zechariah’s visions contain many enigmatic elements we do not fully understand—but their message of Israel’s future glory is clear.

Zechariah prophesied after the nation’s seventy–year exile to Babylon was completed. Many Jews had returned to Israel from Babylon in 538 BCE, and the second Temple was begun. But the building process stalled for about fifteen years, so Zechariah and his contemporary, Haggai, encouraged the people to finish the Temple, which they did in 516. With the experience of God’s judgment in the exile fresh on the people’s minds, Zechariah warned his generation not to repeat the mistakes and sins of their forefathers. Zechariah called the people back to faithfulness to God in preparation for the revelation of God’s future blessing. Beginning in 1:7, the prophet had a series of visions in one night that contained a sweeping panorama of God’s future dealings with both Israel and the nations. The first three visions (1:7–2:13) portray divine judgment on Israel’s enemies, and her restoration and blessing.

Study Questions

  1. What did the earlier generation of people in Judah do to cause God to be “very angry” (v. 2)?
  2. What promise did God make to the people of Zechariah’s day if they would return to Him in repentance and wholehearted devotion?
  3. Why was it so important that the Temple in Jerusalem be finished without further delay?
  4. Why will Jerusalem not need a wall for protection during the glorious age of Messiah?

Something to Think About

The promise of God’s acceptance when we come to Him in humility, with a contrite heart, is an encouraging reminder of His divine love. Even when we stumble or leave the straight path, there is hope of forgiveness and restoration.