The following blog post was originally posted here: After Seventy Years…Zechariah pt 1
Then the angel of the Lord answered and said, O Lord of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years? Zechariah 1:12
Zechariah was a prophet in the time of the restoration of Israel, being one of the meager company of Jews who came back into the land after the seventy year Babylonian Captivity had ended.He began prophesying about the year 520 BC.
It is interesting to note that currently we are approaching another 70 anniversary for Israel, for in our day, the nation which was reborn in May 1948, in fulfillment of so many prophecies, is very near 70 years old.
The Prophet gives a preliminary address to the nation, before he reveals the eight visions which were given him, in one night,concerning Israel and Jerusalem.
In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the Lord unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying, The Lord hath been sore displeased with your fathers. Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the Lord of hosts.
Be ye not as your fathers, unto whom the former prophets have cried, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Turn ye now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings: but they did not hear, nor hearken unto me, saith the Lord. Your fathers, where are they? and the prophets, do they live for ever? But my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not take hold of your fathers? and they returned and said, Like as the Lord of hosts thought to do unto us, according to our ways, and according to our doings, so hath he dealt with us.(Zechariah 1:1-6)
Israel is to consider her fathers, the ones whose unbelief and disobedience to the covenant made the Babylonian exile inevitable. It was their adamant refusal to turn, in the face of countless warnings, sent through broken hearted prophets, that was what brought about the devastating judgment, the destruction of the Temple, and the exile.
Would the generation which lived to see the return, ever repent? Or would they be as their hard hearted and condemned Fathers?
The Apostle James quotes Zechariah’s admonition, when he says,“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you…”.
Where are their Fathers Now?
For that matter, where also are the Prophets sent to warn them, and who were eventually vindicated?
As it happened, about the time Isaiah’s Word was coming to pass, the Fathers were ignoring and reviling Jeremiah, and by the time Jeremiah’s Word was proven true in spite of official rejection and opposition, the “fathers’ were reviling and rejecting Ezekiel…and so on.
Eventually, after the fact, those Fathers were forced to admit that the Prophets were right, but wouldn’t it had been better to take God’s Word for it, rather than to have to experience Judgment first hand?
Here we are today in a similar situation; The unthinkable has happened, Israel became a nation again in accordance to the Words of the Prophets!
Has this evident miracle provoked repentance and turning unto God among the children of Israel, after all of these seventy years?
The same goes for the “Christian world”, which professes to believe in those prophets and the seal of those Prophets, the Messiah. Have we deeply repented and considered our own times, in these seventy years since the restoration of the nation of Israel? Does anyone realize the significance of this event?
What happened seventy years ago is a bill-board sized miracle proclaiming to the entire world that God is real, everything He has said is true, and that the restoration of Israel, portends the commencement of the very last days, the coming of Judgment and the dawn of the Long awaited Kingdom of the Messiah!
But who, if any has turned to God because of it?
Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock. For the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he. Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the Lord, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all.(Jeremiah 31:10-12)