Diddy’s newer-ish song (or it is Puff Daddy, or  P.Diddy? I can’t keep up), “Coming Home” is an “autobiographical” account of his desire to return home to his family. In the song, Diddy admits some mistakes he has made, but there is an absence of a real acknowledgement of his sins and turning away from those things.

In a way, the whole book of Zechariah is an invitation to come home. The key difference is that God invites the returned exiles to embrace repentance and then come home. Ironically, in a sense the exiles are already home—they have physically returned to the land of Palestine. But the exiles still need to embrace repentance and come home spiritually.

Unfortunately, the idea of repenting is grotesque to some people. But Zechariah teaches that repentance is the pathway to receive God’s restoring work:

Zechariah 1:1-6 (NLT)

In November of the second year of King Darius’s reign, the Lord gave this message to the prophet Zechariah son of Berekiah and grandson of Iddo:

[2] “I, the Lord, was very angry with your ancestors. [3] Therefore, say to the people, ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.’ [4] Don’t be like your ancestors who would not listen or pay attention when the earlier prophets said to them, ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Turn from your evil ways, and stop all your evil practices.’

[5] “Where are your ancestors now? They and the prophets are long dead. [6] But everything I said through my servants the prophets happened to your ancestors, just as I said. As a result, they repented and said, ‘We have received what we deserved from the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. He has done what he said he would do.’”

Rely on God’s Word (1:1)

Isn’t it weird that the book of Zechariah opens with a pretty specific date? “In November of the second year of King Darius’s reign.” This date sets Zechariah’s prophetic activity at a particular time in history. God’s word comes to His people in history. It is not merely infallible spiritual truth injected into a fallible historical husk, which can then be shucked off. God is the God over history. He works in world history, and He works in your history. Repentance means relying on His word: heeding His warnings, trusting His promises, and ultimately, embracing Christ as Savior.

Return to God’s Way (1:2)

The call of repentance is the call to come home. To return to God. This text points out that if the returned exiles would return to God, then He would return to them! I believe in God’s total sovereignty over all history and life. But God desires a personal relationship with His people so I don’t think it’s good to so emphasize God’s sovereignty that God seems unconcerned, uncaring, and unemotional.

God does respond to His people!
“You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).

Turning from your sins means God will accept you back through the sacrifice of Christ:
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9)

Recall God’s Warning (1:3-6)

The essence of God’s warning is this: “All your ancestors are dead, but My Word continues on. Repent, or you too will pass away.” God’s Word will come to pass and will be accomplished! Will you resist it? Or will you submit to it and obey it?

 

God’s restoring work comes through repentance: turning away from your sins and embracing God’s way. With the coming of Jesus, God has made a way for all people to be accepted: coming to Christ for forgiveness.

But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. Romans 3:21-22  (NLT)

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