OYB December 24
Julie FerwerdaAre you ready for change in 2009? Grab a One Year Bible (NLT), commit to reading it daily, and join Julie Ferwerda on an extraordinary adventure that will transform your life as you experience its relevance in a fresh, understandable way. In addition to 20+ years in Bible teaching ministry, Julie is a professional speaker and writer. Her works have appeared in publications such as Focus on the Family, Discipleship Journal, Christianity Today, Marriage Partnership, Brio, and Revolve Biblezines & Devotional Bible (for teens). She's also the author of "The Perfect Fit: Piecing Together True Love," and also the upcoming book, "One Million Arrows for God: Raising Your Children to Change the World." Learn more at www.JulieFerwerda.com.
- 2009 Dec 24
7:3 They were to ask this question of the prophets and the priests at the Temple of the Lord of Heaven's Armies: "Should we continue to mourn and fast each summer on the anniversary of the Temple's destruction, as we have done for so many years?" In the footnotes of this verse, you will find attached to "Temple's destruction," "mourn and fast in the fifth month." The 5th month is "Av," and is historically a month of doom and gloom for Israel. Both Temples were destroyed on the 9th of Av, as well as many other horrific historical events (all on the 9th of Av), so Av is a month of mourning and repentance.
7:5 The Lord of Heaven's Armies sent me this message in reply: "Say to all your people and your priests, ‘During these seventy years of exile, when you fasted and mourned in the *summer and in early autumn, was it really for me that you were fasting? Again, the NLT translators took out "in the 5th and 7th months." So God is asking if it was really to Him they mourned in the 5th month (Av) and the 7th month (Tishri). Tishri is the month when the Day of Atonement takes place, another day of solemn fasting and repentance.
7:9 "This is what the Lord of Heaven's Armies says: Judge fairly, and show mercy and kindness to one another. Do not oppress widows, orphans, foreigners, and the poor. And do not scheme against each other. We have talked about our pursuit and process of living out the three main Feasts in our personal lives (Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles). This verse deals with Pentecost, the necessary process of sanctification for all believers wherein we practice lawfulness. These are some of God's most repeated laws and they go back to the "law of love." You can see the reference to this in verse 12:
7:12 They made their hearts as hard as stone, so they could not hear the instructions [lit. "law"] or the messages that the Lord of Heaven's Armies had sent them by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. That is why the Lord of Heaven's Armies was so angry with them.
15:2 I saw before me what seemed to be a glass sea mixed with fire. And on it stood all the people who had been victorious over the beast and his statue and the number representing his name. I think the "glass sea mixed with fire" could be the lake of fire. We see those standing on it who have been victorious and they are singing. What are they singing? They are celebrating the Jesus is victorious, and that all nations will glorify Him and worship before Him!
15:3-4 "Great and marvelous are your works, O Lord God, the Almighty. Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations. Who will not fear you, Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous deeds have been revealed."