14 “For thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Just as I determined to punish you When your fathers provoked Me to wrath,’ Says the Lord of hosts, ‘And I would not relent, 15 So again in these days I am determined to do good To Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. Do not fear. 16 These are the things you shall do: Speak each man the truth to his neighbor; Give judgment in your gates for truth, justice, and peace; 17 Let none of you think evil in your heart against your neighbor; And do not love a false oath. For all these are things that I hate,’ Says the Lord.”
“For thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Just as I determined to punish you When your fathers provoked Me to wrath,’ Says the Lord of hosts,
The “fathers” here were the preexilic generation and the returnees of 536-520 BC. The critical phrase “thus says the LORD of hosts” parlays certainty of discipline to Jews in rebellion.
‘And I would not relent [repent],
God’s character never changes; He is immutable. He never changes His mind. That is why He must be consistent in how He disciplines His people and how He blesses them. God’s purposes are always unchanging and unfailing. There are no unexplained accidents or unexplained tragedies with God.
So again in these days I am determined to do good To Jerusalem and to the house of Judah.
God would reverse the fortunes of the desperate exiles in the days of Zechariah. He would bless them instead of cursing them.
Do not fear.
This command gave further assurance to the Jews that God was now in charge of their future.
These are the things you shall do:
Now Zechariah turned from what God would do for the nation to what they should do. This statement prepared the returnees for both the attitude and actions necessary in God’s will for the nation.
Speak each man the truth to his neighbor;
Not only should the new group of people forming the nation do God’s will, but individual members of the nation should also operate with integrity.
Give judgment in your gates for truth, justice, and peace;
The gate was the place where judicial courts were held. A court worthy of God kept the good of the people in view.
Let none of you think evil in your heart against your neighbor;
The idea is to plot evil against another person. Vindictiveness hurts a national entity.
And do not love a false oath.
The nation with new orientation to God should represent Him by integrity in its judicial system.
For all these are things that I hate [detest],’ Says the Lord.”
Believers are to love what God loves and hate what He hates. To disregard the two commands of this verse is to reject God Himself.
God keeps His word of both judgment and blessing.
God’s purpose never changes. If His people change their way of life, God will transform how He deals with them (Ps 18:26; Jer 31:28; 2 Chr 36:16). If God keeps His word, His people are to live consistently. Doing this will sustain mutual trust in society.
There are times when God reverses our fortunes by transforming His relationship to us from cursing to blessing or from blessing to cursing. We do nothing to obtain God’s grace, but we can do something to earn His cursing.