The book of Zechariah may be seen as a flipside of the coin to the book of Zephaniah. While the latter warns us that if we do not repent we will be punished, the former tells us that if we repent God will restore us.
Zechariah means “Yahweh remembers”. The book is filled with the hope that God would remember His promises to His people, even after they have been exiled for so many years.
Zechariah 1:3 Therefore tell the people: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Return to me,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’ says the Lord Almighty.
God punishes us for a limited time only
Zech 1:16 “Therefore this is what the Lord says: ‘I will return to Jerusalem with mercy, and there my house will be rebuilt. And the measuring line will be stretched out over Jerusalem,’ declares the Lord Almighty. 17 “Proclaim further: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘My towns will again overflow with prosperity, and the Lord will again comfort Zion and choose Jerusalem.’”
God’s punishment is meant to lead us to repentance. After a limited time, God will restore us. Do not get dismayed if you are going through the Lord’s chastisement. Even when we have repented we may still suffer the consequences of sin but the suffering serves to remind us and instill in us the fear of the Lord so that we will be deterred from sinning again.
God’s restoration requires our co-operation
Zech 1:16 “Therefore this is what the Lord says: ‘I will return to Jerusalem with mercy, and there my house will be rebuilt. And the measuring line will be stretched out over Jerusalem,’ declares the Lord Almighty.
While God promises that His house will be rebuilt, it did not spring up miraculously. The people had a part to play in rebuilding it. We should not think that if God wants to restore us we don’t have to do anything. God uses us as His partners in the restoration effort.
Sorrow will be turned into joy
Zech 8:19 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “The fasts of the fourth, fifth, seventh and tenth months will become joyful and glad occasions and happy festivals for Judah. Therefore love truth and peace.”
When God restores us, the periods of mourning and sadness will be turned into occasions of joy. And God will remove our guilt.
God will use us to be a blessing
God had left His people when they were living in sin. When God restores them, His presence also returns to us.
Zech 8:3 This is what the Lord says: “I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the Faithful City, and the mountain of the Lord Almighty will be called the Holy Mountain.”
The presence of the Lord will be translated into blessings and the people around us will want to be blessed through us.
Zech 8:23 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “In those days ten people from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, ‘Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.’”