2598.) from Zechariah 12

April 17, 2019

from Zechariah 12 (NIV)

Jerusalem’s Enemies to Be Destroyed

For Holy Week we are looking at prophecies of the Messiah’s suffering and death that appear in the Old Testament.

1A prophecy: The word of the LORD concerning Israel.   The LORD, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the human spirit within a person, declares: 2 “I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem.  3 On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations.

Damascus Gate, Jerusalem

All who try to move it will injure themselves. 4 On that day I will strike every horse with panic and its rider with madness,” declares the LORD. “I will keep a watchful eye over Judah, but I will blind all the horses of the nations. 5 Then the clans of Judah will say in their hearts, ‘The people of Jerusalem are strong, because the LORD Almighty is their God.’

6 “On that day I will make the clans of Judah like a firepot in a woodpile, like a flaming torch among sheaves. They will consume all the surrounding peoples right and left, but Jerusalem will remain intact in her place.

7 “The LORD will save the dwellings of Judah first, so that the honor of the house of David and of Jerusalem’s inhabitants may not be greater than that of Judah. 8 On that day the LORD will shield those who live in Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the LORD going before them. 9 On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem.

Mourning for the One They Pierced

10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication.

John 1:14   (NIV)

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. 

They will look on me, the one they have pierced,

His head was pierced with thorns, his hands and feet were pierced with nails, his side was pierced by a spear.

and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.

from Wesley’s Explanatory Notes:

I will pour — This was fulfilled on Christ’s exaltation, when he sent the Comforter to his disciples, it is daily performed to the children of God, and will be continually, ’till we are brought to be with Christ for ever.

The house of David — The whole family of Christ, his house who was the seed of David, and who is called David, Ezekiel 37:24.

The spirit of grace — Which is fountain of all graces in us.

Pierced — Every one of us by our sins pierced him, and many of the Jews literally.

Mourn — They shall literally lament the crucifying of the Lord Jesus.

In bitterness — True repentance will bitterly lament the sins which brought sorrows and shame upon our Lord.

_________________________

Music:

Fine Lenten Hymn for today:  HERE  is Guy Penrod and “The Old Rugged Cross.”

_________________________

New International Version (NIV)   Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica

Images courtesy of:
Pierced Messiah.    https://kehilanews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/maxresdefault-83.jpg
Damascus Gate.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2018/12/4a8b0-wall__damascus_gate_img_0354.jpg
Jesus on the cross.    http://dvrbible.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/jesus_on_cross_crucifixion-full.jpg

2597.) from Zechariah 11

April 16, 2019

from Zechariah 11 (NIV)

Two Shepherds

For Holy Week we are looking at prophecies of the Messiah’s suffering and death that appear in the Old Testament.

4 This is what the LORD my God says: “Shepherd the flock marked for slaughter. 5 Their buyers slaughter them and go unpunished. Those who sell them say, ‘Praise the LORD, I am rich!’ Their own shepherds do not spare them. 6For I will no longer have pity on the people of the land,” declares the LORD. “I will give everyone into the hands of their neighbors and their king. They will devastate the land, and I will not rescue anyone from their hands.”

The flock refers to Israel. This prophecy was partly fulfilled in A.D. 70, when Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed and the people sold as slaves.

7 So I shepherded the flock marked for slaughter, particularly the oppressed of the flock. Then I took two staffs and called one Favor and the other Union, and I shepherded the flock.

Favor symbolizes the favored status of Israel as the chosen people of God. Union symbolizes the internal harmony of the people that was lost at the time of the siege of Jerusalem.”

–James Montgomery Boice

8 In one month I got rid of the three shepherds.

One explanation (among many) of this prophecy is that the three shepherds represent the prophets, the priests, and the kings of Israel. Jesus replaces all of these — as he said, “I am the Good Shepherd.”

The flock detested me, and I grew weary of them 9 and said, “I will not be your shepherd. Let the dying die, and the perishing perish. Let those who are left eat one another’s flesh.”

10 Then I took my staff called Favor and broke it, revoking the covenant I had made with all the nations. 11 It was revoked on that day, and so the oppressed of the flock who were watching me knew it was the word of the LORD.

12 I told them, “If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it.” So they paid me thirty pieces of silver.

To pay the shepherd 30 pieces of silver was an insult — this was the price paid to an owner for a slave gored by an ox (Exodus 21:32). This is also the amount Judas received for betraying Jesus (Matthew 27:3-10). The priceless Messiah was sold for the price of a slave.

— The Life Application Bible study notes

13 And the LORD said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—the handsome price at which they valued me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them to the potter at the house of the LORD.

14 Then I broke my second staff called Union, breaking the family bond between Judah and Israel.

_________________________

Music:

Fine Lenten Hymn for today:  HERE is a song about how much our Good Shepherd cares for us — “What Wondrous Love Is This.” Sung by Fernando Ortega.

_________________________

New International Version (NIV)   Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica

Images courtesy of:
sheep grazing.    http://www.godsgracecc.com/Websites/ggcc/Images/psalm_23_15674_0605_01.jpg
the Good Shepherd.  http://www.ogs.net/images/good-shepherd-2.jpg
thirty pieces of silver.    https://www.english.op.org/godzdogz/tuesday-of-holy-week-betrayed-and-abandonned-by-his-closest-friends

2512.) Zechariah 14

December 18, 2018

Zechariah 14 (NIV)

The LORD Comes and Reigns

1A day of the LORD is coming, Jerusalem, when your possessions will be plundered and divided up within your very walls. 2 I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city.

Zechariah seems to have the very end times in view, when Jerusalem will be surrounded and attacked by some type of international force. When the Romans came against Jerusalem in A.D. 70 they came with a multinational army and brought terrible destruction on the city and its people. Yet there was none of the deliverance that Zechariah will describe in the following verses, so it is difficult to say that this was fulfilled in the Roman attack upon Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

–David Guzik

3 Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights on a day of battle. 4 On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south.

The Mount of Olives is actually a series of four hills, two of them directly east of the Temple Mount, rising up from the Kidron Valley.  Here is located the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus, in fervent prayer, counted the cost before he went to the cross.  Here also is where Jesus said farewell to his disciples before he ascended into heaven.  The picture above is facing west, looking across the Kidron Valley to the walls of the temple area; directly below the Dome of the Rock, note the Golden Gate / Eastern Gate, inaccessible and blocked shut.  Jews associate this gate with the coming of the Messiah.  Muslims believe the final judgment will occur here.  Christians remember Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem and look forward to his return in great glory!

5 You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the LORD my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.

6 On that day there will be neither sunlight nor cold, frosty darkness. 7 It will be a unique day—a day known only to the LORD—with no distinction between day and night. When evening comes, there will be light.

Revelation 21:23-25 (ESV)

And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there.

8 On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half of it east to the Dead Sea and half of it west to the Mediterranean Sea, in summer and in winter.

Today, the bare shores of the Dead Sea are dotted with ruins: Herod’s desert palace of Masada  where the Romans battled the last of the Jewish Zealots after Jerusalem fell, only to find upon their “victory” that the Zealots had opted for suicide rather than Roman captivity; Qumran, the ancient religious Essene commune near which the Dead Sea Scrolls were found; and the shattered homes of the old Beit HaArava kibbutz, where in the 1940s Zionist pioneers tried to create a life for themselves and their children on land no one else wanted.

Thirty years ago the Dead Sea, one of the world’s saltiest lakes, had two basins — a deep northern one and a shallow southern one. But by the mid-1980s, the southern basin had dried up, leaving a large area of salt flats.  Now the northern basin is drying up as well.

The Dead Sea is obviously shrinking, falling a yard in depth every year.  The Dead Sea relies on the fresh water of the Jordan River as its source.  But that once-wide Biblical river, where John the Baptist baptized Jesus, is now just a contaminated trickle.  Israel, Jordan and Syria siphon off 95 percent of the water for drinking and for irrigation. Over the past century, the water’s surface has dropped 80 feet; in the last two decades, the Dead Sea has shrunk by a third.  As the Dead Sea’s water disappears, it creates large sinkholes that make it dangerous even to approach the sea in certain spots.

Romans 8:22 (ESV)

For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.

9 The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name.

10 The whole land, from Geba to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem, will become like the Arabah. But Jerusalem will be raised up high from the Benjamin Gate to the site of the First Gate, to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the royal winepresses, and will remain in its place. 11 It will be inhabited; never again will it be destroyed. Jerusalem will be secure.

God will gloriously save and restore Jerusalem!

12 This is the plague with which the LORD will strike all the nations that fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths.

This “plague” reminds me of the descriptions I have read of the victims of the atomic bomb at Hiroshima.

13 On that day people will be stricken by the LORD with great panic. They will seize each other by the hand and attack one another. 14 Judah too will fight at Jerusalem. The wealth of all the surrounding nations will be collected—great quantities of gold and silver and clothing. 15 A similar plague will strike the horses and mules, the camels and donkeys, and all the animals in those camps.

16 Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, and to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles. 17 If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, they will have no rain. 18 If the Egyptian people do not go up and take part, they will have no rain. The LORD will bring on them the plague he inflicts on the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles. 19 This will be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles.

20 On that day HOLY TO THE LORD will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, and the cooking pots in the LORD’s house will be like the sacred bowls in front of the altar. 21 Every pot in Jerusalem and Judah will be holy to the LORD Almighty, and all who come to sacrifice will take some of the pots and cook in them. And on that day there will no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the LORD Almighty.

In the Old Testament, holiness is expressed in strict separation—what was clean was to be separated from what was unclean. Remember reading Leviticus?! In the New Testament however, the coming of our Savior Jesus Christ brought a new emphasis and understanding to what is holy

 “The point is that the people and the city will be so holy that even these insignificant things will be fully dedicated to the Lord.”

–James Montgomery Boice

“God takes particular pleasure in acts of worship . . . that take place in the kitchen and workplace and on the streets” (Hebrews 13:16).

” . . . but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY”  (1 Peter 1:15, 16).  Moral purity is not separate, not distinct from what is “common” or “secular.”  We are called to live HOLY lives within the world in every regard.
.
The END  of the book of Zechariah.

_________________________

Music:

HERE  Chris Tomlin sings “Holy Is the Lord.”

_________________________

New International Version (NIV)   Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica

Images courtesy of:
HOLY to the Lord.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/arab_flat_text.jpg
Mount of Olives.   http://www.ilibros.net/images/MtOJeru6.jpg
Dead Sea.  http://deadseapower.com/clean_power/
nuclear danger sign.    http://www.clker.com/cliparts/0/5/4/5/12456932322116189065cherrypie_Nuclear_warning_sign.svg.hi.png
Holy.   http://www.parkstreetchristianchurch.org/sermons/holy-consideration-october-8/

2511.) Zechariah 13

December 17, 2018

Buckingham Fountain in Chicago. (Perhaps not the kind of fountain Zechariah saw in his mind’s eye!)

Zechariah 13 (NIV)

Cleansing From Sin

1“On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.

There is a fountain filled with blood,

Drawn from Immanuel’s veins;

And sinners, plunged beneath that flood,

Lose all their guilty stains.

–William Cowper

2 “On that day, I will banish the names of the idols from the land, and they will be remembered no more,” declares the LORD Almighty. “I will remove both the prophets and the spirit of impurity from the land. 3 And if anyone still prophesies, their father and mother, to whom they were born, will say to them, ‘You must die, because you have told lies in the LORD’s name.’ Then their own parents will stab the one who prophesies.

4 “On that day every prophet will be ashamed of their prophetic vision. They will not put on a prophet’s garment of hair in order to deceive. 5 Each will say, ‘I am not a prophet. I am a farmer; the land has been my livelihood since my youth.’ 6 If someone asks, ‘What are these wounds on your body?’ they will answer, ‘The wounds I was given at the house of my friends.’

The “wounds” that are spoken of are wounds that the false prophet inflicted on himself in the throes of his idol worship (see 1 Kings 18:28 for an example of this). The false prophet described here denies that the wounds had anything to do with idol worship. He gives the somewhat implausible explanation that the wounds were given him “at the house of his friends.” 

The picture is clear. There will be such a commitment to the LORD and His truth that even the family of a false prophet will condemn the false prophet. At the very least, the false prophet himself would pretend NOT to be a prophet.

The Shepherd Struck, the Sheep Scattered

7 “Awake, sword, against my shepherd,
against the man who is close to me!”
declares the LORD Almighty.
“Strike the shepherd,
and the sheep will be scattered,
and I will turn my hand against the little ones.

“The Lord Is My Shepherd” by Morgan Weistling, 1999.

Matthew 26:30-31 (ESV)

And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.'”

In the context, and especially in light of the quotation of this passage in Matthew 26:31, we understand that the Shepherd is Jesus the Messiah — and it is God the Father Himself who calls for the Shepherd to be struck.

Zechariah relates a thought also said in Isaiah 53:10:  Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. The prophets Isaiah and Zechariah gloriously and emphatically, state that the suffering of the Servant of the Lord was ordained by the Lord. This was God’s doing!  He gave the command to strike the Shepherd. Jesus was no victim of circumstance or at the mercy of political or military power. It was the planned, ordained work of the Lord God, prophesied by Isaiah hundreds of years before it happened. This was God’s victory, not Satan’s or man’s triumph.

 As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:19, God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself. The Father and the Son worked together at the cross. Though Jesus was treated as if He were an enemy of God, He was not. Even as Jesus was punished as if He were a sinner, He was performing the most holy service unto God the Father ever offered.

–David Guzik

8 In the whole land,” declares the LORD,
“two-thirds will be struck down and perish;
yet one-third will be left in it.
9 This third I will put into the fire;
I will refine them like silver
and test them like gold.
They will call on my name
and I will answer them;
I will say, ‘They are my people,’
and they will say, ‘The LORD is our God.’”

_________________________

Music:

“Rock of Ages” is sung  HERE  by the Antrim Mennonite Choir. Note the fountain imagery in verse 3.

_________________________

New International Version (NIV)   Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica

Images courtesy of:
Buckingham Fountain.    http://glessnerhouse.blogspot.com/2013/08/
Weistling.    http://www.christcenteredmall.com/stores/art/weistling/the_lord_is_my_shepherd.htm

2509.) Zechariah 12

December 13, 2018

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

Zechariah 12 (NIV)

Jerusalem’s Enemies to Be Destroyed

1A prophecy: The word of the LORD concerning Israel.   The LORD, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the human spirit within a person, declares: 2 “I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem.  3 On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations.

Damascus Gate, Jerusalem

“The very fact that Jerusalem is mentioned more than 800 times in the Bible makes it worthy of special attention. This unique city is the only one upon which God has bestowed His distinctive blessing and protection (Psalm 132:13-14), and the only city for whose peace we are commanded to pray (Psalm 122:6). God says He has chosen Jerusalem as the place where He has put His name forever (2 Chronicles 6:6; 33:7; Psalm 46:4; 48:1-8; 87:3). The new heavens and new earth will contain ‘the city of my God…new Jerusalem’ (Revelation 3:12; 21:2). That there will be a ‘heavenly Jerusalem’ (Hebrews 12:22) but no ‘heavenly’ New York, Paris, London, Damascus, Cairo, etc. speaks volumes.”  (Dave Hunt, The Berean Call – September 2000)

–David Guzik

All who try to move it will injure themselves. 4 On that day I will strike every horse with panic and its rider with madness,” declares the LORD. “I will keep a watchful eye over Judah, but I will blind all the horses of the nations. 5 Then the clans of Judah will say in their hearts, ‘The people of Jerusalem are strong, because the LORD Almighty is their God.’

6 “On that day I will make the clans of Judah like a firepot in a woodpile, like a flaming torch among sheaves. They will consume all the surrounding peoples right and left, but Jerusalem will remain intact in her place.

7 “The LORD will save the dwellings of Judah first, so that the honor of the house of David and of Jerusalem’s inhabitants may not be greater than that of Judah. 8 On that day the LORD will shield those who live in Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the LORD going before them. 9 On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem.

Mourning for the One They Pierced

His head was pierced with thorns, his hands and feet were pierced with nails, his side was pierced by a spear.

 10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication.

Acts 2:1-4 (ESV)

The Coming of the Holy Spirit

When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

They will look on me, the one they have pierced,

Romans 11:25-26 (ESV)

The Mystery of Israel’s Salvation

Lest you be wise in your own sight, I want you to understand this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written,

    “The Deliverer will come from Zion,
   he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”

and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. 11 On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be as great as the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo.

This refers to the mourning over King Josiah’s death (2 Kings 23:29 and 2 Chronicles 35:20-25). He was such a godly king that the whole nation wept bitterly at his death.

12 The land will mourn, each clan by itself, with their wives by themselves: the clan of the house of David and their wives, the clan of the house of Nathan and their wives, 13 the clan of the house of Levi and their wives, the clan of Shimei and their wives, 14 and all the rest of the clans and their wives.
_________________________

Music:

HERE  is one of Isaac Watts’ finest hymns, one that has touched my heart many times — “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” — sung here by Kathryn Scott.

_________________________

New International Version (NIV)   Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica

Images courtesy of:
praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.  https://glennsimmons.wordpress.com/2009/11/02/prayer/
Damascus Gate.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2018/12/4a8b0-wall__damascus_gate_img_0354.jpg
star of David and cross.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/star_of_david_cross1.jpg
Jesus on the cross.    http://dvrbible.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/jesus_on_cross_crucifixion-full.jpg

2508.) Zechariah 11

December 12, 2018

Psalm 23 (King James Version)

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil:

for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me
in the presence of mine enemies:

thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life:

and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
for ever.

Zechariah 11 (NIV)

Creation Mourns because of the Coming Judgment

 1 Open your doors, Lebanon,
so that fire may devour your cedars!
2 Wail, you juniper, for the cedar has fallen;
the stately trees are ruined!
Wail, oaks of Bashan;
the dense forest has been cut down!
3 Listen to the wail of the shepherds;
their rich pastures are destroyed!
Listen to the roar of the lions;
the lush thicket of the Jordan is ruined!

Two Shepherds

4 This is what the LORD my God says: “Shepherd the flock marked for slaughter. 5 Their buyers slaughter them and go unpunished. Those who sell them say, ‘Praise the LORD, I am rich!’ Their own shepherds do not spare them. 6For I will no longer have pity on the people of the land,” declares the LORD. “I will give everyone into the hands of their neighbors and their king. They will devastate the land, and I will not rescue anyone from their hands.”

The flock refers to Israel. This prophecy was partly fulfilled in A.D. 70, when Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed and the people sold as slaves.

7 So I shepherded the flock marked for slaughter, particularly the oppressed of the flock. Then I took two staffs and called one Favor and the other Union, and I shepherded the flock.

Favor symbolizes the favored status of Israel as the chosen people of God. Union symbolizes the internal harmony of the people that was lost at the time of the siege of Jerusalem.”

–James Montgomery Boice

8 In one month I got rid of the three shepherds.

One explanation (among many) of this prophecy is that the three shepherds represent the prophets, the priests, and the kings of Israel. Jesus replaces all of these — as he said, “I am the Good Shepherd.”

The flock detested me, and I grew weary of them 9 and said, “I will not be your shepherd. Let the dying die, and the perishing perish. Let those who are left eat one another’s flesh.”

10 Then I took my staff called Favor and broke it, revoking the covenant I had made with all the nations. 11 It was revoked on that day, and so the oppressed of the flock who were watching me knew it was the word of the LORD.

12 I told them, “If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it.” So they paid me thirty pieces of silver.

To pay the shepherd 30 pieces of silver was an insult — this was the price paid to an owner for a slave gored by an ox (Exodus 21:32). This is also the amount Judas received for betraying Jesus (Matthew 27:3-10). The priceless Messiah was sold for the price of a slave.

— The Life Application Bible study notes

13 And the LORD said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—the handsome price at which they valued me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them to the potter at the house of the LORD.

14 Then I broke my second staff called Union, breaking the family bond between Judah and Israel.

Not long after Zechariah’s time, the Jews began to divide into numerous factions — Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, Herodians, and Zealots. The discord among these groups was a key factor leading to the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

–The Life Application Bible study notes

15 Then the LORD said to me, “Take again the equipment of a foolish shepherd. 16 For I am going to raise up a shepherd over the land who will not care for the lost, or seek the young, or heal the injured, or feed the healthy, but will eat the meat of the choice sheep, tearing off their hooves.

17 “Woe to the worthless shepherd,
who deserts the flock!
May the sword strike his arm and his right eye!
May his arm be completely withered,
his right eye totally blinded!”

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is a peaceful song for you today. “Savior Like a Shepherd Lead Us” was written as a children’s hymn; the same man (William Bradbury) who wrote the music for this hymn also wrote the music for “Jesus Loves Me.”  Obviously, many adults have loved this hymn for almost two centuries now . . .

_________________________

New International Version (NIV)   Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica

Images courtesy of:
sheep grazing.    http://www.godsgracecc.com/Websites/ggcc/Images/psalm_23_15674_0605_01.jpg
the Good Shepherd.  http://www.ogs.net/images/good-shepherd-2.jpg
thirty pieces of silver.    https://www.english.op.org/godzdogz/tuesday-of-holy-week-betrayed-and-abandonned-by-his-closest-friends
verse 17.   https://images.knowing-jesus.com/i/zechariah-11-17-woe-to-the-worthless-shepherd-green-7345

2507.) Zechariah 10

December 11, 2018

Zechariah 10 (NIV)

The LORD Will Care for Judah

1 Ask the LORD for rain in the springtime;
it is the LORD who sends the thunderstorms.
He gives showers of rain to all people,
and plants of the field to everyone.

Ancient Israel had no irrigation system, and relied on both the former rain (falling in autumn) and the latter rain (falling in spring) to water their crops. Plentiful rain meant abundance for everyone.

2 The idols speak deceitfully,
diviners see visions that lie;
they tell dreams that are false,
they give comfort in vain.
Therefore the people wander like sheep
oppressed for lack of a shepherd.

3 “My anger burns against the shepherds,
and I will punish the leaders;
for the LORD Almighty will care
for his flock, the people of Judah,
and make them like a proud horse in battle.

Verse 4 has long been considered a messianic prophecy:

4 From Judah will come the cornerstone,

Psalm 118:22 (ESV)

The stone that the builders rejected
   has become the cornerstone.

from him the tent peg,

Isaiah 22:23-24 (ESV)

And I will fasten him like a peg in a secure place, and he will become a throne of honor to his father’s house. And they will hang on him the whole honor of his father’s house, the offspring and issue, every small vessel, from the cups to all the flagons.

from him the battle bow,

Revelation 19:11-15 (ESV)

Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.  His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses.  From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.

from him every ruler.

Revelation 19:16 (ESV)

On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.

5 Together they will be like warriors in battle
trampling their enemy into the mud of the streets.
They will fight because the LORD is with them,
and they will put the enemy horsemen to shame.

6 “I will strengthen Judah
and save the tribes of Joseph.

God has strength for us also. Ephesians 6:10 tells us that we can draw on His resources for strength: Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

“The Lord does not say, ‘I will take you away from your labors,’ but ‘I will strengthen you, so that you will be able to perform, them.’ ”
–Charles Haddon Spurgeon

I will restore them
because I have compassion on them.
They will be as though
I had not rejected them,
for I am the LORD their God
and I will answer them.
7 The Ephraimites will become like warriors,
and their hearts will be glad as with wine.
Their children will see it and be joyful;
their hearts will rejoice in the LORD.

from Whispers of His Power,
by Amy Carmichael

Zechariah 10:6-7 (KJV)

And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph, and I will bring them again to place them; for I have mercy upon them: and they shall be as though I had not cast them off: for I am the LORD their God, and will hear them.

And they of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man, and their heart shall rejoice as through wine: yea, their children shall see it, and be glad; their heart shall rejoice in the LORD.

There are wonderful words of assurance and comfort scattered about in the prophets, which seem to be written specially for discouraged hours. Even though they refer first to the return of the Jews to their own land, they are for us too, in a spiritual sense. They lift us up when we are cast down and feel “cast off.” They are among God’s glorious “Fear nots.”

Have you noticed the perfect ending to today’s promise? God knows that it is our children’s good that we most desire. And so He says, Their children shall see it, and be glad.

8 I will signal for them
and gather them in.
Surely I will redeem them;
they will be as numerous as before.
9 Though I scatter them among the peoples,
yet in distant lands they will remember me.
They and their children will survive,
and they will return.
10 I will bring them back from Egypt
and gather them from Assyria.
I will bring them to Gilead and Lebanon,
and there will not be room enough for them.
11 They will pass through the sea of trouble;
the surging sea will be subdued
and all the depths of the Nile will dry up.
Assyria’s pride will be brought down
and Egypt’s scepter will pass away.
12 I will strengthen them in the LORD
and in his name they will live securely,”
declares the LORD.

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Music:

HERE  is “Unchanging”  by Chris Tomlin.  How wonderful that our God is utterly dependable, that he never backs down from a promise, that he always loves us!

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New International Version (NIV)   Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica
Images courtesy of:
rain falling on tulips.    http://www.pianosolo.it/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/rain-falling-on-tulips-photographic-print-c12689455.jpg
verse 4.    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/224124518940563499/
lifting weights.   https://foreverfitwithmichele.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/m10491442.jpg
fear not.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/fearnot.jpg