Morning Musing: Zechariah 12:2-3

“Look, I will make Jerusalem a cup that causes staggering for the peoples who surround the city. The siege against Jerusalem will also involve Judah. On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who try to lift it will injure themselves severely when all the nations of the earth gather against her.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

I want you to imagine something for me for a minute. Imagine that you are part of a people who have known persecution. No, that doesn’t mean you haven’t been able to get a good parking spot at the mall in ages. It means that you have been regularly and intentionally made the victim of injustice and prejudice for a long period of time. Victimhood is part of your psyche in a way people who don’t think through a lens of persecution can’t understand. It was taught to you by your parents—even if unintentionally—and you have taught it to your own children because your people are victims so often that you simply assume you’ll be a victim at some point even if it hasn’t happened yet. Got it in your mind? Depending on the color of your skin or the country in which you were born that may not take much work to imagine. Now, here’s my question: What is it that you want? Zechariah here gives us one answer.

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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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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: Habakkuk 2:6b-8

“Woe to him who amasses what is not his–how much longer?–and loads himself with goods taken in pledge. Won’t your creditors suddenly arise, and those who disturb you wake up? Then you will become spoil for them. Since you have plundered many nations, all the peoples who remain will plunder you–because of human bloodshed and violence against lands, cities, and all who live in them.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

One of the principles that spans both testaments of the Bible and in fact can be found in some form across many different religions is that we will reap what we sow. The choices that we make now will eventually become the reality facing us when the future arrives. We cannot live however we please without experiencing the consequences of this. While this may be a bit of a disconcerting idea when we are the ones who are making the poor choices, in general, this should be a point of great comfort and encouragement. Let’s talk about why.

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