Scripture Read: Zechariah 1 - 7; 12
Title: A Message of Encouragement to the Returning Exiles
(H) Highlight verse: "Thus declares the Lord of hosts: Return to me, says the LORD of hosts, and I will return to you, says the LORD of hosts" Zechariah 1:3
(E) Explain: The book of Zechariah is a series of encouraging messages and prophecies concerning the return of the exiles to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. These messages are one of hope, deliverance and restoration. The messages were given as a series of visions and after receiving the vision Zechariah would ask the angel for the meaning. The angel would always explain the vision and each vision was intended to show God's judgment of the wicked nations and the restoration of Jerusalem.
In Chapter 12 there is a prophecy concerning the coming Messiah that details the cruficifixion of Jesus: "When they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, the shall mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one who weeps over a firstborn."
(A) Application: God's plan for restoration and redemption was put in place from the beginning of time. Although humanity (through Adam) inherently is sinful, creation is cursed, and all are separated from God, He has purposed to redeem and restore through Jesus Christ. As Zechariah 12:10 tells us that Jesus Christ was pierced on a cross for our sins, and people would mourn the death of the Messiah, but our hope is in Him as He willingly went to the cross for our salvation and the redemption of humanity to all who believe.
We read throughout scripture prophecies concerning judment, future redemption, the first and second coming of Christ, etc. and often these prophecies (or some scripture in general) are confusing and hard to understand. There are times when I read a passage and I have no idea what it speaks about and my first inclination is to go to the commentaries to see what the scholars have to say. However, I have found that when I go directly to the source, God/Jesus, and ask for clarification I am given what I ask for. What I am saying in all of this is that we can learn from Zechariah that when we need insight, clarity and understanding to scripture we should just ask the Lord what it means. We are told throughout scripture that the Holy Spirit is our counselor and our teacher, so He is more than capable of speaking the truth to us and giving us understainding when we need it. We just need to ask.
(R) Respond: Lord, as much as I respect and trust the thousands of biblical scholars who have spent a lifetime learning and interpreting the scriptures , I desire to look to you first when I need clarification and understanding of your Word. May I turn to the great teacher, the Holy Spirit, to speak to me before I turn to others who may know way more than I do.
Jeff has been in full-time ministry for thirty years. He currently serves as Executive Director at Anchor House Ministry at SeaPort Manatee in Palmetto, FL and he is a part-time Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Southside in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored A Lent Devotional (A Spiritual Journey to Lent) an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). All three are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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