Bible Pathways Daily Bible Reading Devotional

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Bible Pathways 09/27/2003

September 27

Read Zephaniah 1 -- Haggai 2

In Today's Reading:

The Lord's judgment; future destruction of the Gentile nations; the people urged to rebuild the Temple; unfaithfulness reproved

The Israelites who had returned from Persia with Zerubbabel started to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem with great enthusiasm. But, when their Samaritan enemies greatly opposed that construction, they began building their own homes and working long hours in their fields. Their personal interests contributed to their failure to put God first in their lives. No doubt, many legitimate excuses were given for stopping the construction of the Temple.

As the people built their homes and developed their businesses, time to rebuild the Temple looked hopeless. Zerubbabel must have been discouraged as he thought of how much there was to do, how few willing workers there were, and how threatening the opposition was. While the Israelites continued to hope for better times, about 14 years passed and nothing more was accomplished for the Lord.

Then God moved upon the prophet Haggai to proclaim the Word of the LORD (Haggai 1:3-11, Ezra 5:1). Two months later, Zechariah also began proclaiming the Word of the LORD (Zechariah 1:1).

Haggai first announced: Thus speaks the LORD of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the LORD s House should be built. Then came the Word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet, saying, Is it time for you . . . to dwell in your ceiled (paneled) houses, and this House lie waste (be desolate)? . . . Consider your ways. . . . You have sown much, and bring in little (Haggai 1:2-6).

Upon hearing the Word of the LORD, the people renewed their interest in rebuilding the Temple, the one place designated by God for His people to worship Him. This time they ignored the threats of their enemies and the elders of the Jews built, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah. . . . And they built, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel (Ezra 6:14). The Temple was completed in just four years.

Without the Word of the LORD as a standard, we subsequently fall prey to deception. Reading the Word of God renews our love for His Word and imparts spiritual strength needed to put Him first in our lives.

I will not leave you comfortless (as orphans): I will come to you. . . . the Comforter, Which is the Holy Ghost (Spirit), Whom the Father will send in My Name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said to you (John 14:18,26).

Christ Revealed:

As King of Israel, even the Lord (Zephaniah 3:15; compare John 1:49;18:33-37).

Word Studies:

Zephaniah 1:4 Chemarims = the idolatrous priests in charge; 1:9 leap on the threshhold = rush into houses to confiscate the property; 2:15 carelessly = securely; Haggai 2:7 desire of all nations = precious, pleasant, the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Eagles Nest Ministries/Love Packages and Steven Schmidt, Founder/Director · Government Official: Rep. Victor Snyder (AR) · Country: Syria (17 million) in southwestern Asia · Major languages: Arabic and Kurdish · Limited religious freedom for Christians · 90% Muslim; 4% Eastern Orthodox; 2% Roman Catholic; .25% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Intercede fervently in prayer for others (James 5:16).

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 14:13

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