“Since they refused to listen when I called to them, I would not listen when they called to me,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
The people of Bethel seek the Lord’s favour. They ask the prophets, “Should we continue to mourn the destruction of the temple each year?”
The Lord responds by asking them were really mourning for the sake of the Lord or for their own pleasure. When they have their festivals, they eat and drink for themselves, and not out of worship for the Lord.
The Lord gives a simple, direct message to Zechariah: judge fairly, show mercy and kindness to one another, not oppressing the poor among them.
This was the message the ancestors received from the prophets, but they ignored it over and over. Eventually, the Lord decided to refuse to listen to them because they had refused to listen to Him.
The Lord constantly calls to us, seeking for us to walk in fellowship with Him. He seeks real friendship, not the mockery of heartless religion.
He calls over and over. When we stick our fingers in our spiritual ears to avoid hearing Him, then our ability to respond to Him declines. The Lord may send big events into our lives to get our attention, but we can still refuse to listen.
Eventually we may get to the point where He is not calling to us, and not even listening when we call to Him.
What a tragic state of affairs this is, when God has effectively given up on us.
This is not the end of the story, of course. The Lord is always ready to accept us when we repent from the heart.
Lord, I thank you for your desire to be my friend. Please help me to push all other things aside, just to be with you. Amen