Tag Archives: Zechariah 1

September 29, 2017 Bible Study — Not By Force, Nor By Strength, But By The Spirit Of The Lord

I am using the daily Bible reading schedule from “The Bible.net” for my daily Bible reading.

Today, I am reading and commenting on Zechariah 1-6.

    Zechariah’s first vision involves four horsemen. These are not the same four horsemen as those mentioned in the Book of Revelation (although I suspect that Zechariah’s description of them influenced John’s description of his four horsemen). These four horsemen appear later in this passage as the drivers of four chariots. It is interesting that of the four horsemen (and later of the four chariots) only three went out on patrol while the fourth waited their report. The message of both of these visions, four horsemen and four chariots, was that God was angry with the other nations of the earth because their actions against Israel exceeded the punishment which He intended. I struggle with reconciling this statement here with my belief that God controls how things turn out. I intended to write a bit about how I understand this, but realized that it is too complicated to explain in this daily post. The best I can do in this forum is to say that it has to do with the difference between how we treat groups and how we treat individuals. The passage also makes it clear that those who overstep God’s intended punishment of the Jewish people will suffer for their actions.

    Zechariah prophesied that the day would come when so many people wished to live in Jerusalem that they would not all fit within the walls. In that day many people would join themselves to the Lord and God would count them as His people, just as He does the descendants of Jacob. If you look at Jerusalem today you will see that it extends well beyond the area which was within the walls of Jerusalem when this was written, and there are not walls around the city. You could argue that the various barriers and checkpoints which the government of Israel have set up are the equivalent of a wall. God tells us that the situation which Zechariah is prophesying will not come about through force or strength. It will happen by the Spirit of God. This is something we need to remember in every endeavor we undertake. If what we are doing is according to God’s will we will not accomplish it by force or by strength, only by the Spirit of God.

December 21, 2015 Bible Study — Those Who Hate Have Been Deceived By Satan

For today, One Year Bible Online links here.

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Proverbs 30:17

    At first glance this proverb warns against mocking and scorning your parents. That reading is not wrong, but it is incomplete. I believe it is also a warning against those who mock and scorn other people’s parents. I do not think this is about mocking someone who is a parent. The warning is about encouraging someone to mock their own parents, to scorn their parents teaching.

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Psalm 140

    This psalm makes a great prayer. I will call on the Lord to rescue me from evildoers. I do not rely on my ability to keep me and my loved ones safe. I know that only the Lord can accomplish that. I know that God will help those whom the wicked persecute and bring justice to the poor. Yes, I will call on the Lord and praise His name.

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Revelation 12:1-17

    There are many lessons to be learned from this passage, but the one which strikes me is that Satan is a deceiver. He deceives the whole world. It is Satan, the devil, the dragon from this vision who is responsible for Anti-Semitism and the persecution of Christians. It is the deceit of Satan which leads people to persecute one group or another. In particular, Satan deceives people into persecuting Jews because he failed to destroy Jesus. When he is unable to get at Jews, he turns that persecution against those who faithfully follow Christ. Satan seeks to deceive all people. He uses deception to get us to hate those who have succumbed to another of his deceits. Whenever we allow ourselves to hate our fellow humans, even those who hate us, we have fallen for Satan’s deception.

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Zechariah 1

    From time to time throughout history, God has raised up nations to punish the Jewish people. Time and again those nations go beyond the mandate they were given and persecute the Jewish people beyond the bounds which God had set. When those nations do so, God brings judgment against them and peace to His people. In many ways He uses the the excesses of those who persecute the Jews to bring good things to the Jews. This does not excuse the excesses of those who persecuted the Jewish people and God will bring punishment upon them.