In this vision Zechariah sees a flying scroll, one about 30 by 15 feet, like a billboard or, as one of my students most aptly said, like one of those signs airplanes pull after them in the sky. Although a lot of commentators go on and on about the meaning of this short vision, it really is not that difficult.
The scroll represents the Law. The two particular laws mentioned represent the two aspects of the Law. Thou shalt not steal stands for all the sins against one's neighbor, while invoking God's name to swear falsely stands for all the sins against God. The Law always carried with it blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience. These people stand a thousand years after the giving of the Law. God is making sure they understand that He still judges them by it. It is still relevant. Nothing about right and wrong has changed, and neither have the blessings and curses.
This vision also stands as an encouragement to those such as Joshua and Nehemiah who had to enforce the Law. If they must make hard decisions concerning covenant breakers among them, God is squarely behind them. In fact, even in their own homes, the sinners will find that lawbreaking will eventually be their undoing. Anyone who has seen the results of sin in a home, whether adultery, abuse, drunkenness, addiction, or any other such thing, knows it is true.
And now the people know, too, that their sin will not be tolerated; that they cannot claim affinity with the people of God while breaking his Law.
In our day, in our culture, we need the same lesson. The gospel is still relevant. The laws of God are still in effect. The leaders we have need the same encouragement: you must still enforce those laws, even if it means "cleaning out" the house of God. And we must support them for if we do not, we are standing against God.
Trying to do right in a sin-filled society is hard. Surely it helps to know that we are standing on the side of truth, no matter what our neighbors might think, and someday, no matter what our civil laws might say.
The LORD's curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the dwelling of the righteous. (Prov 3:33)