Zechariah told those who returned from exile, “The LORD was very angry with your fathers.” (Zech. 1:2) This was obvious in the ruined city and destroyed Temple. “Therefore say to them, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, "Return to Me," declares the LORD of hosts, "that I may return to you," says the LORD of hosts. Do not be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets proclaimed, saying, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, "Return now from your evil ways and from your evil deeds.’” But they did not listen or give heed to Me," declares the LORD.” (vs. 3,4) They had been told and told, yet they never did. They received the wrath of God instead of His welcome because they would not repent.
Men think that there is “time, time enough yet.” But the longer we postpone repentance the more difficult it becomes, and finally we are out of time. “Your fathers, where are they? And the prophets, do they live forever?” (vs. 5) Their fathers were gone, perished by the sword or gone to captivity. Also gone were great men like Jeremiah who had preached to them.
The father’s time to repent and change was gone. But God’s word still remained. “But did not My words and My statutes, which I commanded My servants the prophets, overtake your fathers? Then they repented and said, 'As the LORD of hosts purposed to do to us in accordance with our ways and our deeds, so He has dealt with us.” (vs. 6) God told them what He would do then did it. Later, when they repented, they acknowledged that it was just. There aretwo great truths in this verse: 1.) God’s word overtakes all men and 2.) God does as He purposed (and predicted) with sinful men.