KG Oct. 16-22

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October 16, Sunday

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The Boss — God is an encourager and motivator in this passage.  In obedience to God’s command, the people began to work on building the temple.  Some of the old timers, however, remembered the beauty of Solomon’s temple, and the new structure going up seemed insignificant to them (“Is it not as nothing in your eyes?”—v. 3).  But God’s challenge to them was to “be strong” (v. 4).  This was the first of three commands to them, and it seems to be aimed at turning them away from outward appearances.  To them, it was the size and the beauty that was of most importance, but that wasn’t God’s view.  The Lord’s second command was “Work” (v. 4).  Keep at it, no matter how unimportant it seems!  When I was in college, I took a tour of a factory that made garden hoses.  I was struck by the fact that one worker’s only job was to pick metal hose ends out of a bin and stand them on their end on a moving conveyor belt.  How unimportant he must have felt!  Do you know that someone in your church volunteers to go through all the seats in the building every week to make sure that the seat pockets are supplied with welcome cards and pencils?  That might seem like an insignificant task, but what you are doing is not as important as Who you are working for.  In fact, in the same sentence of God’s command to work, the reason is given: “…for I am with you, declares the LORD of hosts” (v. 4b).  Your Boss will give you encouragement, energy, and purpose for your work.  It is important to notice here, that God doesn’t promise to do the work for us, but only to help us do the work ourselves.  God’s third command is, “Fear not” (v. 5), and the same kind of reason is given: “My Spirit remains in your midst.”  Don’t worry about the apparent insignificance, the lack of beauty, not getting noticed, etc.  God is with us.  That is all we need.

Little Is Much When God Is in It – YouTube

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October 17, Monday

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Return … Repent … Restore — Zechariah was a contemporary of Haggai, delivering God’s message to His people at the end of the Babylonian captivity.  God first issued an invitation: “Return to me, says the LORD of hosts, and I will return to you” (v. 3).  This was the whole purpose of their exile: to bring them back to God.  That call of God continues to this day as He beacons people to come to Him.  At least a significant number of the Hebrews responded positively: “So they repented” (v. 6), acknowledging that God had dealt with them justly.  Part of repentance is turning away from sin, while the other part is turning toward God.  There is another element, however, included here, which is admitting that God is right: “As the LORD of hosts purposed to deal with us for our ways and deeds, so has he dealt with us” (v. 6b).  That shows a necessary attitude of humility in repentance: I was wrong and God was right.  God then responded to this Jewish remnant in a loving, gracious way: “…the LORD will again comfort Zion and again choose Jerusalem” (v. 17).  God invites (“Return”), man responds (“they repented”), and God restores (“comfort…choose”).

Back to Bethel (House of God) – YouTube

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October 18, Tuesday

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The Apple of His Eye — This title expression is used four times in the Bible.  The “apple” refers to the pupil of one’s eye, likely the most sensitive part of the body.  In our passage for today, it refers to God’s protection: “…he who touches you touches the apple of his eye” (v. 8).  Although God had allowed Assyria and Babylon to be “the nations who plundered you” (v. 8), it was like a poke in the eye to God.  The people of Israel were His people; He chose them and He loved them.  It is God’s nature to protect those who belong to Him.  The same idea of protection is found in another use of this expression where David prayed, “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings” (Ps. 17:8).  God protects those He loves.  That “apple” expression is first used in Deuteronomy 32:10, where God chose Israel as His people: “He found him in a desert land, and in the howling waste of the wilderness; he encircled him, he cared for him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.”  This is connected with God’s caring and His love.  God not only protects us because He loves us, but He also nourishes us in a caring way.  The last use of this expression speaks not so much about God’s character as it does about our own.  God challenges us in Proverbs 7:2 to “keep my commandments and live; keep my teaching as the apple of your eye.”  We are developing this attitude as we form the habit of spending time in God’s Word every day.  It is becoming more valuable and precious to us.

This is a musical rendition of Psalm 17:
Keep Me as the Apple of Your Eye – YouTube

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October 19, Wednesday

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Whose Hands? — It is clear that God gave Zerubbabel the task of rebuilding the temple: “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also complete it” (v. 9).  In spite of this, God said that it was, “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts” (v. 6).  Whose hands would do the work?  The hands of God or Zerubbabel?  This is another example of mutual work, where God expects us to do our part, while He supplies all that is necessary to make it effective.  God won’t do it without us.  Depending on God should not be used as an excuse for refusing to work.  We should remember that when we are faced with a challenging task.  God will use us if we are willing to work hard at it.  Trust Him while you work!  Don’t desire to take the credit!

To the Work! – YouTube

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October 20, Thursday

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King Jesus — This passage covers a great expanse of time.  It looks, first, at the return of God’s people from Babylon (“I will set your prisoners free”—v. 11).  The “king … coming to you” (v. 9) in Zechariah’s time would be in the form of a governor, Zerubbabel, who would lead the reconstruction of Jerusalem and its temple.  This prophecy also looked forward to a time of Greek domination (“against your sons, O Greece”—v. 13).  It was written almost 200 years before the Greeks, under Alexander the Great, would dominate the Palestinian area.  They would rule there for nearly another 200 years, before the Jewish Maccabees revolted against the Greek king who offered a pig on the altar at Jerusalem’s temple.  And, more famously, this prophecy also looked forward to the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, just before His crucifixion (Matt. 21:1-11).  This was the truly righteous and humble King of kings who was mounted on a donkey, rather than on a war horse (Zech. 9:9), and was speaking peace (v. 10).  Finally, this prophecy actually extends to the future period following the Second Coming of Jesus, when “his rule will be from sea to sea … to the ends of the earth” (v. 10).

The King Is Coming – YouTube

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October 21, Friday

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The Pierced Angel — In the return of the Jews from Babylon to Mount Zion in the Promised Land, God promised His protection and their prosperity.  Part of that protection would come through “the house of David” (v. 8), the royal leaders of the people.  In a remarkable comparison, that “house of David” is said to be “like God, like the angel of the LORD going before them” (v. 8).  In this expression, “God” and “the angel of the LORD” are equated. The “angel of the LORD” is “God.”  We have seen, earlier, that this special “angel” was likely the pre-incarnate Christ, and the close comparison in our passage for today seems to confirm that.  Then, in the next paragraph, the picture changes to Mount Calvary: “…when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced” (v. 10).  When the Roman soldiers came to break the legs of the three crucified men, they saw that Jesus was already dead, so “one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water” (John 19:34).  Then John, adding that Scripture had been fulfilled by this act, quoted Zech. 12:10.  The “angel of the LORD” had been pierced for us.

O Sacred Head Now Wounded – YouTube

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October 22, Saturday

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That Day — This passage looks forward to a very special day.  It is mentioned six times in these nine verses.  When Zechariah said that God “will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle” (v. 2), it sounds like the predicted battle of Armageddon in Rev. 14:14-16.  The drama of the Mount of Olives splitting in half at the Lord’s coming (Zech. 14:4), reminds us of the splitting of the curtain in the temple on the day of Jesus’ death, when “the earth shook, and the rocks were split” (Matt. 27:51).  He will return as He left.  When Zechariah wrote that “the LORD my God will come, and all the holy ones with him” (14:5), it reminded me that the Apostle Paul said that “God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep [died earlier]” (1 Thess. 4:14).  That the timing of this “unique day … is known to the LORD” (Zech. 14:7) was still unknown in Jesus’ time: “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only” (Matt. 24:36).  At that time, there will be “neither day nor night, but … there shall be light” (Zech. 14:7), which sounds like the description in Rev. 21:23 of that future city that “has no need of sun or moon … for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.”  All of this shows the infinite knowledge and creativity of God, and His ability to make it happen.  What awaits us, folks, is not just something better than we have known; it is in a different category altogether.  That day will be a new day in every sense.

What a Day That Will Be – YouTube

Published by abibleread

This website honors the Bible as the inspired Word of God through which God speaks to us as we read and study it.

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