Wednesday, September 19, 2012

September 19, 2012 … Looking On Ahead to New Beginnings

Chronological Bible Reading Plan - Day 263

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Zechariah, Chapters 1-4 To study these chapters, go to this link -

Highlight Passage: Zechariah 1: 1-6; 14-17; : [NLT] … 1 In mid-autumn of the second year of King Darius’s reign, the LORD gave this message to the prophet Zechariah son of Berekiah and grandson of Iddo. 2 “ I, the LORD, was very angry with your ancestors. 3 Therefore, say to the people, ‘this is what the LORD Almighty says: Return to me, and I will return to you, says the LORD Almighty.’ 4 Do not be like your ancestors who would not listen when the earlier prophets said to them, ‘this is what the LORD Almighty says: Turn from your evil ways and stop all your evil practices.’ … 5 “Your ancestors and their prophets are now long dead. 6 But all the things I said through my servants, the prophets, happened to your ancestors, just as I said they would. As a result, they repented and said, ‘We have received what we deserved from the LORD Almighty. He has done what he said he would do.’” …
 [Zechariah prophesying to The Remnant in Jerusalem] … 14 Then the angel said to me, “Shout this message for all to hear: ‘this is what the LORD Almighty says: My love for Jerusalem and Mount Zion is passionate and strong. 15 But I am very angry with the other nations that enjoy peace and security. I was only a little angry with my people, but the nations punished them far beyond my intentions. … 16 “‘Therefore, this is what the LORD says: I have returned to show mercy to Jerusalem. My Temple will be rebuilt, says the LORD Almighty, and plans will be made for the reconstruction of Jerusalem.’ 17 Say this also: ‘this is what the LORD Almighty says: The towns of Israel will again overflow with prosperity, and the LORD will again comfort Zion and choose Jerusalem as his own.’” …  
Highlight Passage: Zechariah 2: 6-7; 8-13 : [NLT] … 6 The LORD says, “Come away! Flee from the north, for I have scattered you to the four winds. 7 Come away! Escape to Jerusalem, you who are exiled in Babylon!” … 
8 “After a period of glory, the LORD Almighty sent me against the nations who oppressed you. For he said, ‘Anyone who harms you harms my most precious possession. 9 I will raise my fist to crush them, and their own slaves will plunder them.’ Then you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me.” 10 The LORD says, “Shout and rejoice, O Jerusalem, for I am coming to live among you. 11 Many nations will join themselves to the LORD on that day, and they, too, will be my people. I will live among you, and you will know that the LORD Almighty sent me to you. 12 The land of Judah will be the LORD’s inheritance in the holy land, and he will once again choose Jerusalem to be his own city. 13 Be silent before the LORD, all humanity, for he is springing into action from his holy dwelling.”  
Highlight Passage: Zechariah 3: 1-4; 8-10 : [NLT] … 1 Then the angel showed me Jeshua [or “Joshua,” the High Priest in Jerusalem to the Remnant from Babylon] … the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD. Satan [“the Accuser”] was there at the angel’s right hand, accusing Jeshua of many things. 2 And the LORD said to Satan, “I, the LORD, reject your accusations, Satan. Yes, the LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebukes you. This man is like a burning stick that has been snatched from a fire.” … 3 Jeshua’s clothing was filthy as he stood there before the angel. 4 So the angel said to the others standing there, “Take off his filthy clothes.” And turning to Jeshua he said, “See, I have taken away your sins, and now I am giving you these fine new clothes.” … 
8 Listen to me, O Jeshua the high priest, and all you other priests. You are symbols of the good things to come. Soon I am going to bring my servant, the Branch. 9 Now look at the jewel I have set before Jeshua, a single stone with seven facets. I will engrave an inscription on it, says the LORD Almighty, and I will remove the sins of this land in a single day. 10 And on that day, says the LORD Almighty, each of you will invite your neighbor into your home to share your peace and prosperity.” 
Highlight Passage: Zechariah 4: 6-7; 10 : [NLT] … 6 Then he [the angel messenger bring God’s message to Zechariah] said to me, “This is what the LORD says to Zerubbabel: It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the LORD Almighty. 7 Nothing, not even a mighty mountain, will stand in Zerubbabel’s way; it will flatten out before him! Then Zerubbabel will set the final stone of the Temple in place [i.e., the Cornerstone, Who is Jesus], and the people will shout: ‘May God bless it! May God bless it!’” … 
10 [Zechariah prophesies about working for God’s purposes] … Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand. For these seven lamps represent the eyes of the LORD that search all around the world.” 

My Journal for Today: Moving on today in my daily chronological Bible-reading assignments, having come through part of Ezra, the Priest in the days of God’s remnant returning from Babylon to Jerusalem as well as the Prophets of Haggai and, now today, Zechariah, who were given the task, by God, to prod the people, in their very human reticence, to KEEP ON KEEPING ON to complete their Spirit-anointed task of rebuilding God’s Temple in Jerusalem. And yesterday, I was led to reflect/study Haggai’s role, who helped spark the remnant to believe God’s pormises and to move toward completion of the Temple building project.

But Zechariah, today’s focus prophet, took God prodding and prophesy to a whole new level, looking even further down the road of history (i.e., prophesy) to show the Israelites how God was using current day personae, such as Yeshua, the local High Priest, to be God’s picture of a new beginning for the believers who trusted in God’s one day glorious day of return when the ultimate returning High Priest, The Messiah, whose Name we now know would also be “Yeshua,” would rule in a wondrous and gloriously perfect Temple time; … and He would rule forever, wearing new, perfect garments to replace the old rags of sin which had been worn by other priests in Israel’s past.

The remnant, especially the older ones in Zerubbabel’s time, were no doubt somewhat disappointed that the restored temple which they were rebuilding would not be as glorious as the Temple built by Solomon. However, Zechariah, prophesied an even greater Temple which would be ruled over by the promised Messiah, … where God’s believing remnant would be cared for … forever.

The book of Zechariah has wonderful pictures of Jesus, The Christ, … the One and Only Messiah, who would be God’s Lamb and Who would judge the world upon His return; and here, through this one post-exile prophet, God paints the picture of what we, post-resurrection Christians, can now recognize are clear predictions of all which would be fulfilled in the life, death, resurrection, and return of the perfect Yeshua, Whom Zechariah pictured so clearly in his journal of prophesy.

I relish the further study and pictured promise of our Messiah’s 2nd coming, especially as I’m led to study further in the prophesies of Zechariah. I hope you, who might be coming along with me, are just as excited as am I to be meditating on these prophesies.

My Prayer Today: … Oh, LORD, thank You for the promise of You in Your word. Amen

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