Zechariah 7:7 (KJV)
Should ye not hear the words which the LORD hath cried by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and in prosperity, and the cities thereof round about her, when men inhabited the south and the plain?
The times were changing for the Jews. Seventy years of prescribed captivity had come to an end. Though it did not happen at oncethey were now free to return home. This liberty led them to pray and to wonder about such practices as fasting.
They came to the prophet and inquired. One could question whether the prophet, and the Lord through the prophet, were being too harsh. These people came to ask about a spiritual practice and the first answer was, “You should have listened to the prophets before the captivity.” They were almost certainly not alive back then. If some had been alive, they weren’t old enough to have made decisions.
I think the point is much different. I think the prophet is reminding them that there is a preserved record of what those older prophets had said. God told them through Zechariah that they should have gone to those records, the written Word of God, for their answers.
Don’t take this more harshly than it is meant. It isn’t as much a rebuke as it is a reminder. God gives us teachers, men who are called and gifted to teach us the Word of God. We ought to go to them and to learn from them. But before they can do us much good, especially in the long term, we have got to learn to search the Scriptures for ourselves.
Their captivity happened in multiple waves. It is not surprising that their return would happen in a similar manner.
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Zechariah 7:7 Search the Scriptures
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