The opening verses of Zechariah’s book contain warnings to the people for breaking the law, warnings that prompted the people to show repentance. When God warns His people of their sin, that is always His goal, namely, their repentance. Matthew Henry comments on this passage that the warnings of God’s law are the necessary prerequisite of the gospel. Let us not be afraid to hear the warnings of Scripture, but let us look to them that we might be pointed again and again to Christ.
Zechariah’s first vision concludes with a word from the Lord that the people were not to take their continuing subjection to a foreign empire as proof that God had forgotten them. God reiterated His promises that He would bless His people and destroy His enemies (vv. 13–17). This is a good word for us when the wicked prosper and the righteous suffer. No matter how successful the wicked look now, the Lord’s people will certainly win in the end.