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Bible Pathways 09/28/2002

September 28

Read Zechariah 1 -- 7

In Today's Reading:

A call to repentance and return to the Lord; Zechariah's ten visions; warnings of Jehovah's displeasure; the BRANCH shall build the Temple of God; condemnation of insincere fasting; disobedience resulting in captivity.

Verses for Today:

Many nations (Gentiles) shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and shall be My people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee (2:11).

Zechariah was led to write: Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of [you, says] the Lord (Zechariah 2:10; compare John 1:14).

Zechariah foretold the rejection of Jesus as the Messiah, His second coming, His millennial reign, and His teachings. When religious leaders rejected Jesus, He said to them: How can [you] believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that [comes] from God only? . . . For had [you] believed Moses, [you] would have believed Me: for he wrote of Me (5:44-47). Zechariah also saw that, beyond the restoration of the Jewish nation, all Gentiles who turn from their sins in repentance and accept Jesus as Savior and Lord of their lives would also be included.

Until Jesus the Prince of Peace returns, there will be no peace on earth, especially in Jerusalem where God had once dwelt. Deception, violence, suffering, and chaos will continue to increase. Not until we come to the end of our resources and lose confidence in our own abilities do we learn to trust in the Lord. It was at just such a time that an angel said to Zechariah: This is the Word of the Lord to Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, [says] the Lord of hosts. Who [are you], O great mountain (of human obstacles such as Syria, Babylonia, and Egypt)? Before Zerubbabel [you shall] become a plain! (Zechariah 4:6-7). Through Zechariah, the Lord wanted His people to know that His purpose in every mountain of suffering was to cleanse them from sin.

The work of God is not accomplished by might, nor by power, meaning our human strength, zeal, or finances; but by My Spirit, [says] the Lord of hosts. The power of the Word of God, anointed by the Holy Spirit, is indispensable in living a truly Christian life. This is the key that imparts faith and yields eternal results. So then faith [comes] by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17).

Zechariah also foretold a glorious revelation of Jesus as the Branch; and He shall grow up out of His place, and He shall build the Temple of the Lord (Zechariah 6:12). Upon His return to earth, Jesus will sit and rule upon His throne; and He shall be a Priest upon His throne. . . . And this shall come to pass, if [you] will diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God (6:13,15). The word "if" here does not mean that Israel's failure, or the church's, will in any way impede God's plan for Christ's return (Matthew 24:36). But, receiving His blessings is dependent upon our personal obedience.

We are assured that all who remain faithful will receive from God the reward of overcomers. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be My son (Revelation 21:7).

Christ Revealed:

As My Servant the Branch (Zechariah 3:8; 6:12; also Isaiah 4:2; 11:1; Jeremiah 23:5; 33:15). Christ was brought forth into the world in the fullness of time, and took upon Him the form of a servant (Philippians 2:7; also Galatians 4:4; Matthew 12:14-18).

Word Studies:

1:15 helped forward the affliction = furthered the disaster; 1:19 horns = world powers; 1:21 fray = terrorize; 3:5 mitre = turban; 5:1 roll = scroll.

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (NY) and Rep. Steve Largent (OK) · Pray for your Sunday School teacher · Country: Vanuatu (189,000) a group of 12 large islands southwest of the Solomons in the southwestern Pacific · Major languages: English and French · Religious freedom · 78% Protestant; 17% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Diligently seek the Lord in prayer and He will bless your efforts (Hebrews 11:6)

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 14:13

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