Insights With Rabbi Jeff | Zechariah 1

Zechariah  was  a  postexilic  prophet, a  spokesman  for  God  to  the  people  of  Israel  fresh  from  the  return  from  exile  in  Babylon. The  underlying  and  undergirding  question  of the book  is, “God  has  allowed  us  to  come  home, but, will  the  relationship  be  the  same? Can  we  still  count  on  Him  to  do  miracles  as  He  did  for  Moses, Joshua, David, and  the  other  Biblical  heroes, or, are  we  forever  tainted  by  our  past  sins?”

This  is  very  much  the  same  issue  we  all  deal  with  when  coming  to  Messiah. Adonai’s forgiveness is so magnanimous, but, is  it  really  as all-encompassing as it sounds?

Zechariah’s beginning is so encouraging.  He lists his own name, which means “the Lord remembers”. Then, he gives his father’s name, Berechiah , “the  Lord  blesses”. Then comes the prophet’s grandfather’s name Iddo, “timely”. The Lord remembers to the extent that He blesses in a timely manner.

After  reminding  the  people  of  their  past  rebellions, the  Lord  shows  Zechariah  angelic  patrols  of  the  earth. The  report  from  the  patrol  is  that  all  is  peaceful  and  quiet . While  we  might  assume this  to  be  good  news, we  are  surprised  to  read  that  anger  results . The  oppressors  of  Israel  are  at  peace  while  Israel  is  traumatized. Adonai  states  that  “while  I  was  a  little  angry, they  furthered  the  evil”, meaning  He  intended  the  nations  to  be  a  means  of  discipline, but  they  turned  it  into  abuse. He  then  promises  punishment  for  those  nations, while  restoring  Israel.

All  this  further  reinforces  the  concept  of  the  power  and  thoroughness  of  God’s  Covenant  and  forgiveness. The  tone  is  set  that  if  Israel  cannot  count  on  God’s  provision  for  atonement  to  make  her  secure  in  her  relationship  with  Him, then, no  one  is  safe. As this wonderful book unfolds, we will  see  what  great  security  there  is  in  God’s  promise  and  provision .

Rabbi Jeffrey Adler

Rabbi Jeffrey Adler is on the Board of HaShomer and also Rabbi of Sha’arey Yeshua in Indianapolis, IN.