Digging in Deeper: Zechariah 10:11

“The Lord will pass through the sea of distress and strike the waves of the sea; all the depths of the Nile will dry up. The pride of Assyria will be brought down, and the scepter of Egypt will come to an end.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

History is linear. It is unidirectional. It is going somewhere. We may not be able to see where from any single point along the way, but yesterday was not the day before and the day before that was different still. This wasn’t always thought to be the case. For a time it was fashionable science to hold that the universe was cyclical–it had been expanding and contracting in an endless cycle since eternity past and would continue like this on into eternity future. Then some smart folks looked a little harder and realized that the universe actually started at a single point and has been expanding ever since. Some religious worldviews today still believe that history is cyclical. But it’s not. History moves in one direction. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t repeat itself.

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Digging in Deeper: Zechariah 10:1-2

“Ask the Lord for rain in the season of spring rain. The Lord makes the rain clouds, and he will give them showers of rain and crops in the field for everyone. For the idols speak falsehood, and the diviners see illusions; they relate empty dreams and offer empty comfort. Therefore the people wander like sheep; they suffer affliction because there is no shepherd.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever stood in the wrong line for something? Was it a long wait? Lisa and I were going to a show once and spent 30 minutes waiting in line to get in with a whole crowd of people. The line never moved. An inch. Eventually, an employee came out and announced this was the line for will call. I think 75% of that line moved over to the pre-ticketed line. Our hopes in that were entirely false. It would not have gotten us where we wanted to go. It looked awfully similar, yes, but it was a fake all the same. As Zechariah points out here, this is kind of like what idolatry does to our lives.

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Digging in Deeper: Zechariah 9:8

“I will encamp at my house as a guard, against those who march back and forth, and no oppressor will march against them again, for now I have seen with my own eyes.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

It’s hard to imagine the mindset of someone who has been persecuted unless you too have known persecution. Facing severe or sustained (or both!) persecution does something to the human mind such that a person in such a situation thinks and sees the world differently than those who do not share a set of similar experiences. Its a kind of club that no one wants to be a part of, but once you are you share a bond that transcends much of what might otherwise divide you. Israel was a people who had known persecution. Lots of it. If you want to understand why passages like this one are in the Scriptures, you’ve got to understand that.

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Digging in Deeper: James 1:19-20

“My dear brothers and sisters, understand this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for human anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

We could all use just a little bit more listening lately, couldn’t we? And yet, here I am speaking…well, writing anyway. But I tend to write like I talk (as perhaps the audio gives away), so I guess I’m speaking. I’ve actually had the opportunity lately to be a part of a few different conversations on recent events. I’m grateful for that. I’ve learned much and also had reaffirmed some things I thought to be true beforehand. May I share some of that with you?

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Digging in Deeper: Zechariah 8:6

“The Lord of Armies says this: ‘Though it may seem impossible to the remnant of this people in those days, should it also seem impossible to me?’ — this is the declaration of the Lord of Armies.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

We live in the midst of a culture in chaos. But, as hard as all of this is to see and hear about, the riots spawning from the murder of George Floyd have not brought to us anything that was not there before. They have simply revealed what was already planted in our hearts. The seeds of racism and wanton violence have been quietly germinating in the soil of many hearts for years. They just need a bit of the waters of injustice and the dark sun of greed and they explode in ugly growth. What are we to do with this?

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