Zechariah was 'prophet of hope'

Although he was surrounded by despair and discouragement, Zechariah delivered a message of hope, delivering a cheering prophecy of a glorious future for Jerusalem.

Zechariah might well be called Judah's "prophet of hope."In Land and Leaders of Israel, Ezra C. Dalby, then principal of West Seminary in Salt Lake City, wrote in 1933:

"There is not a sad note in all the prophecies attributed to Zechariah. This is unusual among the prophets of Israel, for most of them came with a message of doom and destruction.

"Beginning in the very first chapter, the prophet seeks to encourage his people from history with which they were familiar. `Your fathers, where are they? and the prophets, do they live for ever?' But the word and will of God have not died, but are still living and active. God's workers may have disappeared, but not God's work. Kingdoms come and go, but God's truth is everlasting; the Spirit of the Lord goes on conquering and to conquer. Zechariah saw God standing in the field of human history, and with his word ever leading men upward and onward.

"Moral advancement leaves the past behind. They must upward still and onward who would keep abreast of truth.'Lay hold on God's word,' said the prophet to his discouraged countrymen, `and it will bring you into the promised land of all your hopes.' That, indeed, is the best way.

"In chapter seven, we have an account of some priests coming to Zechariah to inquire if they should keep up their fasting and weeping, as they had done in Babylon. He reminds them that even in Babylon their fasting and their mourning were not done in a religious sense. The thing for them to do now was to forget fasting and mourning, and turn to God in penitence and confidence. Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassion every man to his brother.' "

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