God is always ready to receive the repentant sinner. There is never a time where He says, “Sorry, you have turned back to me, but I am done.” His grace always extends the offer of forgiveness to the repentant one. He is not limited in its expression. He will not receive an unrepentant sinner who challenges Him. But He will receive one who humbles himself to God.
This offer in Zechariah was extended to the exiles in Babylon. God was preparing to bring Israel’s remnant back to their land. Jerusalem would be repopulated. The captivity would end. But it had to start with a people who were willing to come to Him. Hence this call for repentance was a necessary part of the message of renewal. Nothing new was going to come to Israel unless they turned from sin, turned to God, and let God turn them around.
God loves to change hearts. That much I know is the story of my life. But I also know that my heart does at times resist this. That is why His Word still carries prophetic calls such as this one to me. I need to hear the cry of the prophet in the darkest allys of my heart, shaking me to the fear of the Lord and calling me to return to Him in repentance of my sin. It is that cry that brings me back to new life and renewed relationship with my Lord.