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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Morning Musing: Zechariah 5:1-2

“I looked up again and saw a flying scroll. ‘What do you see?’ he asked me. ‘I see a flying scroll,’ I replied, ‘thirty feet long and fifteen feet wide.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

There’s an old legal maxim which says that “justice delayed is justice denied.” Martin Luther King, Jr. adapted this in his Civil Rights work and made it “rights delayed are rights denied.” The idea is that there is a point at which delaying something good or right becomes little different from denying it entirely. When it comes to God’s justice, sometimes it feels like this idea applies to Him. Passages like this next vision of Zechariah’s reminds us this is not the case.

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Morning Musing: Zechariah 1:21

“I asked, ‘What are they coming to do?’ He replied, ‘These are the horns that scattered Judah so no one could raise his head. These craftsmen have come to terrify them, to cut off the horns of the nations that raised a horn against the land of Judah to scatter it.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Nobody likes a bully. Nobody likes a bully and yet still, bullies are out there. They’re all over the place. Why? Why do so many folks turn to that particular tactic in their interactions with others? Many reasons. Often they’ve been bullied themselves by a parent or someone else in authority over them. They’re frequently trying to cover for some perceived lack they see in themselves. Occasionally they’ve just learned that’s the only way they can get what they want. Sometimes they’re just mean. Whatever the reason, though, nobody likes a bully. What we see here is God promising to deal with Israel’s bullies.

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Digging in Deeper: Nahum 1:1

“The pronouncement concerning Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

We are finally finished with Micah. It’s time for something new. This morning, we are turning to the collection of prophecy we have from a man named Nahum. Nahum’s book is one of the shorter works of the Minor Prophets. It is one of the more focused as well. It is about the downfall of the city of Nineveh and the Assyrian Empire. Still, as brief and concentrated on a single subject as it is, there is much for us to learn if we will look closely and pay careful attention. God included and preserved it for a reason. Let’s begin digging in and see what kind of treasures we can uncover.

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Digging in Deeper: Hosea 6:1-2

“Come, let us return to the Lord. For he has torn us, and he will heal us; he has wounded us, and he will bind up our wounds. He will revive us after two days, and on the third day he will raise us up so we can live in his presence.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter

If you’ve been working through Hosea with me over the past couple of weeks, think about what we have seen in the last few chapters. God has been blasting the people for their faithlessness. They had turned from Him over and over again. In spite of everything He had promised them, they still went looking for help in other places. And they were going to pay for it. After all His anger and rage, what should we expect next? Not this. 

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