Tag Archives: Zechariah

Through the Bible, July 3

Reading: Luke 1:5-80

Summary: The great majority of information concerning the birth of Jesus is found in Luke’s gospel.  Included in that material is the record of John the Baptist’s birth.  Both John’s and Jesus’ arrival were matters of angelic announcement to both Zechariah—John’s father, and Mary.  The lives and ministries of both John and Jesus were the fulfillment of prophecy.  These were no ordinary births, but the result of divine operation.

Pay particular attention to Luke’s record of the inspired words of both of John’s parents, Zechariah and Elizabeth, as well as those of Mary.

Devotional Thought:

Patience

Luke 1 is one of those rare occasions when angels make a public appearance.  We know there are many of these beings (myriads the Bible says) but yet they aren’t seen very often or recognized when they are seen.  But Zechariah saw and knew what he saw and he feared.

The angel’s message for Zechariah was that his prayer had been heard.  And what was that prayer?  To have a child.  Think about it.  Zechariah and Elizabeth were both “advanced in years” and had no children (Luke 1:7).  Elizabeth had lived with the stigma of barrenness for all of her adult life.  When do you suppose these two had begun praying to God for a child?  Early on, no doubt.

But then, how quickly had the thrill of being newly married and the anticipation of their first baby given way to frustration and aggravation at their inability to conceive?  Were the prayers intensified about now?  How many “home remedies” had they tried?  How much friendly advice had they politely heard?  How many cutting comments had they endured?  Finally, at some point, resolve had no doubt set it in that they would never have a child. Did the time ever come that they stopped praying for one?

Now, remarkably, so late in life, their petition has been heard.  Amazing.

For what have you prayed for which no response is evident?  How quick are we to abandon our petitions?  How soon do we decide God’s answer is “No” because it hasn’t happened yet?

If anything, we learn from Zechariah’s experience the value of patience.  We often speak of God’s patience with man, but here it is our patience with God.

Through the Bible, June 17

June 17: Zechariah 7-9

Summary: Further messages from God by His prophet Zechariah, including further reminders of the consequences of Israel’s former unfaithfulness, God’s plan’s for Zion, and some specific details regarding the coming Messiah.

Devotional Thought:

Let God Do Good

God is good and wants to do good. That sounds obvious but it’s not always how it works out.

To His people God said, “I purposed…to bring good” (Zech. 8:15).  What He had brought, though, was “disaster” (Zech. 8:14).  Why?  Because “your fathers provoked me to wrath, and I did not relent.”

That God is good is unquestionable and undeniable.  But what we receive from Him is not based on His goodness, but rather on us.  So, the prophet tells God’s people what they must do to receive from their good God His goodness, and not disaster.  In short it was, “Love truth and peace” (Zech. 8:19).

Love truth and peace?

God “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4).

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matt. 5:9).

Yep, love truth and peace.

Through the Bible, June 16

Reading: Zechariah 1-2

Summary: Two months after the word of the Lord came to Haggai, it came to Zechariah.  This prophet reminds the people in Jerusalem of their need for faithfulness to God.  They should not be like their fathers who had ignored (at best) God’s prophets and look what happened to them.

Devotional Thought:

Call Me Chicken

The ill-advised game of chicken—for ones who may not know—is a “sport” involving two speeding automobiles on a head-on crash course, each occupied by one or more thrill-seeking (read “foolish”) young people.  The “chicken” is identified as the one who changes course first to avert the collision.

Whoever makes the first move loses (???).  I suppose the only consolation is the fact that you’re still alive.

It’s a perverted value system that identifies winning with doggedly pursuing one’s present course despite the inevitable and undeniable negative consequences.

True in “chicken,” true in life.

God’s prophet’s message was pretty straightforward, “Return to me, says the Lord of hosts, and I will return to you says the Lord of hosts” (Zech. 1:3; see also Isa. 31:6; Jer. 3:1, 22; Ezek. 18:20; Mal. 3:7).

It’s not just an Old Testament message, either.  “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you” (Jas. 4:8).  The prodigal’s father ran to him, embraced him, and kissed him when he saw his lost son returning to Him (Luke 15:20).

God will return to us when we return to Him.  When we move, God moves.  And we need—desperately need— God to move.  Because of sin, we can’t get all the way back to Him.

He’s ready.  He’s willing.  He’s waiting.

Go ahead. Make the first move and call me “chicken.”

June Week 3 Bible Reading Introduction

Week 3: The Jews’ Saga Continues in Both Jerusalem and Persia

June 15-21

         The post-Babylonian captivity story of the Israelites continues on two fronts. In Jerusalem the people have become comfortable, having turned their attention from God’s house to their own homes.  Haggai and Zechariah play important roles in getting the people back on track for the task on which they are to focus.

Meanwhile, back in Persia, an amazing drama is unfolding in which by the incredible providential work of God, a beautiful Jewess, Esther, assumes a most unlikely position as queen.  From there she is able to literally save the Israelite people from extermination.

June Bible Reading Introduction

June Bible Reading Introduction

Old Testament History Ends

Captivity and Restoration

Books: Daniel, Ezekiel, Lamentations, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi

Old Testament history concludes with God’s people being restored to their homeland and rebuild their nation. It is of great interest to note that when given the opportunity, the majority of the Jewish nation did not return but remained in the lands where they had settled. But, many did return. And as the deportation of htejs3ws from Jerusalem and Judah had taken place in stages, so also would the return occur in stages.

Great emphasis is given in both the historical accounts and the prophetic messages of this time to the future glories of the Messianic kingdom.  It is of no small significance, that the highly symbolic New Testament book of Revelation relies heavily on the language and imagery portrayed in Ezekiel, Daniel, and Zechariah (as well as many other Old Testament books) to convey the message of hope in the eternal kingdom of God.

This closing phase of the Old Testament’s record really does set the stage for much of what we encounter with the Jewish people in the New Testament. We find that more of them live outside of Palestine than in it. Also, there’s a greatly heightened sense of expectation for God’s work among them in sending a Messiah. Further, there’s a decidedly different attitude toward the Law and the gods of the nations, both of which had contributed so directly to their downfall and captivity.

Patience

Devotional Text: Luke 1:13

Luke 1 is one of those rare occasions when angels make a public appearance.  We know there are many of these beings (myriads the Bible says) but yet they aren’t seen very often, or recognized when they are seen.  But Zechariah saw and knew what he saw and he feared.

The angel’s message for Zechariah was that his prayer had been heard.  And what was that prayer?  For a child.  Think about it.  Zechariah and Elizabeth were both “advanced in years” and had no children (Luke 1:7).  Elizabeth had lived with the stigma of barrenness for all of her adult life.  When do you suppose these two had begun praying to God for a child?  Early on, no doubt.

But then, how quickly had the thrill of being newly married and the anticipation of their first baby given way to frustration and aggravation at their inability to conceive?  Were the prayers intensified about now?  How many “home remedies” had they tried?  How much friendly advice had they politely heard?  How many cutting comments had they endured?  Finally, at some point, resolve had no doubt set it in that they would never have a child. Did the time ever come that they stopped praying for one?

Now, remarkably, so late in life, their petition has been heard.  Amazing.

For what have you prayed for which no response is evident?  How quick are we to abandon our petitions?  How soon do we decide God’s answer is “No” because it hasn’t happened yet?

If anything, we learn from Zechariah’s experience the value of patience.  We often speak of God’s patience with man, but here it is our patience with God.

–David Deffenbaugh

For today’s Bible reading introduction CLICK HERE

July 3 Bible Reading: Luke 1:5-80

The great majority of information concerning the birth of Jesus is found in Luke’s gospel.  Included in that material is the record of John the Baptist’s birth.  Both John’s and Jesus’ arrival were matters of angelic announcement to both Zechariah—John’s father, and Mary.  The lives and ministries of both John and Jesus were the fulfillment of prophecy.  These were no ordinary births, but the result of divine operation.

Pay particular attention to Luke’s record of the inspired words of both of John’s parents, Zechariah and Elizabeth, as well as those of Mary.

For today’s daily devotional CLICK HERE

For July week 1 Bible reading introduction CLICK HERE

For July’s Bible reading introduction CLICK HERE

June 17 Bible Reading: Zechariah 7-9

Further messages from God by His prophet Zechariah, including further reminders of the consequences of Israel’s former unfaithfulness, God’s plan’s for Zion , and some specific details regarding the coming Messiah.

For today’s daily devotional CLICK HERE

For June week 3 Bible reading introduction CLICK HERE

For June’s Bible reading introduction CLICK HERE

Call Me Chicken

Devotional Text: Zechariah 1:3

The ill-advised game of chicken—for ones who may not know—is a “sport” involving two speeding automobiles on a head-on crash course, each occupied by one or more thrill-seeking (read “foolish”) young people.  The “chicken” is identified as the one who changes course first to avert the collision.

Whoever makes the first move loses (???).  I suppose the only consolation is the fact that you’re still alive.

It’s a perverted value system that identifies winning with doggedly pursuing one’s present course despite the inevitable and undeniable negative consequences.

True in “chicken,” true in life.

God’s prophet’s message was pretty straightforward, “Return to me, says the Lord of hosts, and I will return to you says the Lord of hosts” (Zech. 1:3; see also Isa. 31:6; Jer. 3:1, 22; Exek. 18:20; Mal. 3:7).

It’s not just an Old Testament message, either.  “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you” (Jas. 4:8).  The prodigals father ran to him, embraced him, and kissed him when he saw his lost son returning to Him (Luke 15:20).

God will return to us when we return to Him.  When we move, God moves.  And we need—desperately need— God to move.  Because of sin we can’t get all the way back to Him.

He’s ready.  He’s willing.  He’s waiting.

Go ahead. Make the first move and call me “chicken.”

–David Deffenbaugh

For today’s Bible reading introduction CLICK HERE

June 16 Bible Reading: Zechariah 1-2

Two months after the word of the Lord came to Haggai, it came to Zechariah.  This prophet reminds the people in Jerusalem of their need for faithfulness to God.  They should not be like their fathers who had ignored (at best) God’s prophets and look what happened to them.

For today’s daily devotional CLICK HERE

For June week 3 Bible reading introduction CLICK HERE

For June’s Bible reading introduction CLICK HERE