Right in Our Eyes

We’re told every single day and everywhere we look that if we will be true to ourselves and do what lies in our hearts, we’ll be on the right track. As we arrive at the end of the book of Judges in our series, Going It Alone, we see a powerful example of the fact that this just isn’t the case. What is the case? Read on to find out.

Right in Our Eyes

Have you ever seen the movie Suicide Squad? It came out a few years ago. They’re working on a sequel/relaunch with a new director and some new key character swaps. D.C. Comics is trying to get all the mileage out of the fan-favorite character Harley Quinn they can, especially after her solo/ensemble film Birds of Prey flopped so badly a few months ago. As far as superhero movies go, Suicide Squad was pretty good. The major villain seemed to serve as more of a placeholder while the stories of the various “heroes” were told, but in that arena, they really hit a home run I thought. It made enough money to prompt the sequels I mentioned, but I can’t see how it will serve as much more than a minor rabbit trail in the larger cinematic universe that D.C. Comics is still trying to build in hopes of rivaling the juggernaut that Marvel has put together. So far, they’re staying pretty far behind in terms of both quality and box office returns.

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Morning Musing: Zechariah 4:6-7

“So he answered me, ‘This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: “Not by strength or by might, but by my Spirit,” says the Lord of Armies. “What are you, great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become a plain. And he will bring out the capstone accompanied by shouts of: Grace, grace to it!”‘” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Leadership is tough. It’s easier to manage. Now, that doesn’t mean management is easy, but it’s easier than leadership. When you’re managing, your job is simply to keep things running smoothly. You’re not trying to go anywhere; you’re just trying to stay afloat. But leadership implies direction. You’re trying to actively move an organization–that is, a group of people–forward somewhere they haven’t been before. The challenge is that even on our most adventurous days, we are all creatures of habit. If you’re going to lead anyone anywhere, then, you’ve got to convince people who are settled to get unsettled and go on a journey whose end they cannot see. That’s tough. Even the best leaders need encouragement along the way if they are going to accomplish anything significant. God knew this, and in Zechariah’s next vision, we find Him offering some encouragement.

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Digging in Deeper: Zechariah 1:7

“On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, which is the month of Shebat, in the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Zechariah son of Berechiah, son of Iddo…” (CSB – Read the chapter)

When a people is picking up the pieces again after suffering through a season of tragedy, what do they need? That is a question astute observers of culture in Jerusalem late in the 5th century B.C. would have been asking. Interestingly, it is a question that astute observers of culture are asking nowadays as well. As an answer to that question, God sent the Israelites the prophet Zechariah. Now, his words were for them, not us. But perhaps there is still a thing or two we could learn for our own lives. Let’s take a look.

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Morning Musing: Haggai 2:18-19

“From this day on, think carefully; from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, from the day the foundation of the Lord’s temple was laid; think carefully. Is there still seed left in the granary? The vine, the fig, the pomegranate, and the olive tree have not yet produced. But from this day on I will bless you.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever started a project only to get interrupted before it was completed? Did you ever go back to finish it? Sometimes we start things with the best of intentions, but life gets in the way. We don’t have any control over that. The real challenge for any project is not avoiding interruptions. Those will come. The real challenge is sticking with it until it is done. For some projects, stopping short really doesn’t matter. For others though, there is a great deal more at stake. This is what was facing the people of Israel here in Haggai.

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Morning Musing: Haggai 1:12-13

“Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, the high priest Joshua son of Jehozadak, and the entire remnant of the people obeyed the Lord their God and the words of the prophet Haggai, because the Lord their God had sent him. So the people feared the Lord. Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, delivered the Lord’s message to the people: ‘I am with you–this is the Lord’s declaration.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Yesterday we talked about doing things the wrong way versus doing them the right way. When we do things the wrong way they just don’t work very well. There’s really no way to avoid that. But when we do them the right way, they start working again. This is true with specific tasks we are trying to accomplish, and as we’ll see this morning, it’s true with God too.

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