Momma used to say, “A hard head makes a soft behind” to us as youth. During these times, we were learning many lessons, some which we rejected, others we struggled to follow. Our youthfulness and desire to experience and carve our own paths often caused us to but heads with the very covering given to keep us on the right path.
We find God, in this passage, exhausted from His efforts to keep His children on the right path! He has sent prophet after prophet to speak to the people about their ways. Turns out, they were following the ritual dates, fasting when instructed, but they were ignoring the voice of God when He spoke.
God was more concerned for their treatment of others than He was their obedience to the calendar. When they had His attention, He is instructed them to “exercise true judgement and show brotherhood and compassion to each other. You must not oppress the widow, The orphan, the foreigner, or the poor, nor should anyone secretly ploy evil against his fellow human being.” Zech 7:9-10 His words highlight what was taking place before and during the fast!
While we are focused on building our relationship with God, we must also be builders of relationship with mankind. It’s great that God says “fellow human being” because this is how He sees us and how we should see one another. This means all races, economic backgrounds, party affiliations, cities and the like. God wants us to illustrate His character towards His creation, not because it is deserved, but because it is right.
And of we choose not too! A hard head makes our God chastise. He chastises the ones He loves, making us obey His Word that it might go well with us. God said to them, “I cried to you….so you will cry out” V. 13 “they would not obey….I will not listen.” V. 13 in other words, a hard head does make a soft behind!
Like our parents, there comes a time when the Words font correct, that they just have to express. God made two entry points for knowledge, and shamefully, we absorbe most of it from below the waist. God desires to teach us the conventional way, but we continue to rebel, eating from every tree and following every path.
Lord forbid that He would stop up His ears towards us when we cry out for Him! Be it not that the Lord would ignore us while we suffer! God remember us and hear our cry. Actually, don’t just hear it, listen to it! Let our cry compell you to act! Let not only our words and deeds line up to grim favor from you, let our treatment of others be a sweet smell in your nostrils!