(NKJV): “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:”
(CEV): “But everyone who heard those prophets, stubbornly refused to obey. Instead, they turned their backs on everything my Spirit[a] had commanded the earlier prophets to preach. So I, the Lord, became angry 13 and said, “You people paid no attention when I called out to you, and now I’ll pay no attention when you call out to me.”
The Jews of Zechariah’s day should not repeat the sins of their ancestors. Rather they should show their obedience to God in lives of active justice, love, and mercy towards their fellows. They must avoid the temptation to exploit those who, for one reason or another, are disadvantaged.
The heartless attitude of their ancestors towards the needy was a reflection of a more deep-seated problem, their hardness of heart towards God. Because they ignored God’s Instruction to them through the prophets, God Ignored their prayers to Him when the enemy attacked. As a result, they were taken into foreign captivity. They were disobedient people; they wouldn’t listen to God – (A life of continual sinning & offering of sacrifices). Finally, God Told Prophet Zechariah to tell the Jews that: “obedience is better than sacrifices ”Today, our Heavenly Father Wants to draw our attention to certain behaviors we sometimes put up towards Him. We neglect His Will and Instructions, and we harden our hearts like diamond.
Prophet Zachariah prophesied to the first batch of Jews that came out of exile and settled in the ruined Jerusalem. The Lord Informed the Jews of the bad behavior their ancestors portrayed that led to their bondage. The Lord Said they hardened their hearts and purposed to overlook the Commandments of God.
To have a hardened heart is to be determined to refuse to change no matter the amount of pressure or influence that is exerted on you. For example, Pharaoh in the days of Moses hardened his heart and refused to let the Israelis go free (Exodus 14:3-4). When a man hardens his heart against God, God Humbles such a person beyond human recognition.
Today we find ourselves in a generation that takes delight in prophecies on prosperity, without taking cognizance of the fact that, attached to every Divine Blessing is the demand for obedience to the Word of God. God is a Sovereign Being; there are things He Hates and things He Likes. He Has the Sovereign Authority to Bless the obedient and to ‘punish’ the disobedient.
God is Saying to us all, “Stop the hypocrisy, the oppression of the disadvantaged, the lying tongue, the sexual immorality and the corrupt attitude of greed and selfishness”. Yet many of us know we are wrong but have hardened our hearts like diamond stones. May God have Mercy on us.
Let us all repent and have an obedient heart. When we refuse to hearken to God in our days of pleasure, He will also ‘refuse’ to listen to us in times of trouble. This is a message from our God to us all. Don’t harden your heart.
Heavenly Father please Grant me the obedient heart of a child, to do Your Will with all discipline and Godly fear. Forgive me of all my sins and that of my nation. Lead us Lord, in the way everlasting.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.