Instead of quoting the former prophets, Zechariah gives the substance of their exhortations, as renewed to himself.
These promises were conditional on obedience. The sins that had characterized the Israelites prior to the captivity, were not to be repeated. “Execute true judgment,” the Lord exhorted those who were engaged in rebuilding; “and show mercy and compassions every man to his brother: and oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother.” “Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbor; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates.” Zechariah 7:9, 10; 8:16. PK 704.1
Rich were the rewards, both temporal and spiritual, promised those who should put into practice these principles of righteousness. “The seed shall be prosperous,” the Lord declared; “the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground shall give her increase, and the heavens shall give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things. And it shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah, and house of Israel; so I will save you, and ye shall be a blessing.” Zechariah 8:12, 13. PK 704.2
By the Babylonish captivity the Israelites were effectually cured of the worship of graven images. After their return, they gave much attention to religious instruction and to the study of that which had been written in the book of the law and in the prophets concerning the worship of the true God. The restoration of the temple enabled them to carry out fully the ritual services of the sanctuary. Under the leadership of Zerubbabel, of Ezra, and of Nehemiah they repeatedly covenanted to keep all the commandments and ordinances of Jehovah. The seasons of prosperity that followed gave ample evidence of God's willingness to accept and forgive, and yet with fatal shortsightedness they turned again and again from their glorious destiny and selfishly appropriated to themselves that which would have brought healing and spiritual life to countless multitudes. PK 705.1Read in context »
“And the word of the Lord came unto Zechariah, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and show mercy and compassions every man to his brother: and oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart.” Zechariah 7:8-10. This is the word of the Lord to us also. 6T 460.1
I cannot think that the closing part of this chapter will be your experience: “But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear. Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the Lord of hosts hath sent in His Spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the Lord of hosts. Therefore it is come to pass, that as he cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, saith the Lord of hosts: but I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations whom they knew not. Thus the land was desolate after them that no man passed through nor returned: for they laid the pleasant land desolate.” Verses 11-14. 6T 460.2
Brethren, in your dealings with the Lord's household, “follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify [build up] another.” Romans 14:19. Speak no words of censure. Lay no blame on this one or that one. There is need now of the help that all can bring. Seek to heal the breach that has been made. Do it cheerfully. Do it nobly. Come up to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty. Redeem at once the institution that is in so great peril. 6T 460.3Read in context »