[This is the message that God gave Zechariah.]
Well, the message hasn't changed. God-of-the-Angel-Armies said then and says now: "'Treat one another justly. Love your neighbors. Be compassionate with each other.
Don't take advantage of widows, orphans, visitors, and the poor. Don't plot and scheme against one another - that's evil.'
"But did your ancestors listen? No, they set their jaws in defiance. They shut their ears.
They steeled themselves against God's revelation and the Spirit-filled sermons preached by the earlier prophets by order of God-of-the-Angel-Armies. And God became angry, really angry,
because he told them everything plainly and they wouldn't listen to a word he said.
I scattered them to the four winds. They ended up strangers wherever they were. Their 'promised land' became a vacant lot - weeds and tin cans and thistles. Not a sign of life. They turned a dreamland into a wasteland."
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)