Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Zechariah 7 and 8

Study 4 – Zechariah 7

  1. Both the fasting and the feasting of the people of God had become nothing much more than customs. They had lost their true focus. Maintaining that focus is still difficult today whether it involves baptism, communion, worship, or offerings. Far too often they become mere forms of worship but deny the power behind them.

  2. The people of Zechariah’s day suffered from the same illness that we suffer from today – self-centeredness. Other people had merely become a means of elevating oneself. The eyes of the people had become closed to the sufferings of others around them.

Study 5 – Zechariah 8

  1. God promises that the exiles will return from the corners of the earth to Jerusalem and that He will provide for their every need. He also promises that they will be a blessing to the nations and that people from all languages and nations will want to come and join them in worship of the Lord. The Lord remains jealous of His chosen people and wants us to Himself so that He can bless us and thereby be glorified Himself.

  2. The conditions for such blessings outlined in this chapter are: Speak the truth; Render true and sound judgments in court; Do not plot evil against your neighbor; and do not love to swear falsely. Our lack of blessing is always our fault and never a lack of desire to fulfill His promises on the part of the Lord.

  3. The fast times of Judah would quickly become times of celebration as they became more and more obedient to the Lord. The Lord’s desire is not for us to be in times of lack and mourning, but in times of blessing and joy. He takes no joy from our misery. Our hard times are meant as lessons to place us on the path of obedience which will lead to times of joy.

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