Bible Reading Blog

Bible Reading Blog

“God's Word Will Overtake Us”

Categories: Congregational Bible Reading

BIBLE READING: Zechariah 1

“Your fathers, where are they? And the prophets, do they live forever? (Zechariah 1.5)

A previous generation failed, and the consequences were evident. Captivity and destruction, just as God had promised. God was angry with them, not for one specific sin but for the deafness of their ears. He had called and they would not listen. He had spoken and they would not pay attention (Zechariah 1.4b). They were not unaware: God sent many prophets with the same message. The law was written down for them to see plain as day. They were simply unmoved by what they heard.

Those people died. The prophets who warned them died. Everything that God revealed came to pass. But something stuck around for the next generation. “…my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not overtake your fathers?” (Zechariah 1.6a).

These people knew and had seen the outcome of God’s warnings through the prophets. God’s desire, expectation, and judgment remained –the same as it was for the previous generation— as motivation for the next. It would with certainty overtake them as well. Now what would they do with it? They took it seriously and repented (Zechariah 1.6b).

A challenge we all have is learning to listen. Children struggle with it as they become more independent. They have a will and a way that seems right to them. They are convinced that getting their way is best. This tends to become more pronounced as they get older. With wisdom and age, we expect children will learn and become more receptive to wisdom. When that doesn’t happen, it is evident that is not how it should be. We were not designed to remain as immature, stubborn children.

Sadly, we don’t always have the same expectations for spiritual development. Many people plateau in their spiritual growth and become dull of hearing (Hebrews 5.11). They fail to see the serious nature of daily obedience and sensitivity to God’s word because they’ve already been saved. But that misses the point. God doesn’t want us to be obedient—he wants us to be receptive to him.

We are given the same admonition as these folks: Don’t be like those previous generations (1 Corinthians 10.6-12); Listen up and do what you know is right, today (Hebrews 3-4; James 4.16). God’s word is firmly fixed (Psalm 119.89), but we can be numbed by the distance between the present and these moments of judgment. We must understand these stories are given so we would be warned and beware.

God’s word will overtake all of us without exception. His judgment will come and those who have not listened will be no different than these generations of the past (2 Peter 2-3). We must trust what God has revealed and let it motivate us to urgency and repentance. Furthermore, when you and I are long gone, his words will remain in place for the next generation. Because they are eternal, they will be in judgement with us, either for approval or condemnation (John 12.48). As the writer of Hebrews aptly said, “Let us not refuse him who is speaking to us.” (Hebrews 12.25)