It is a new month and I finally learned how to spell Zechariah right. So much for internet searches - I should have just looked at my Bible closely!
I just found out that my fave Bible is coming out with a study version - the ESV (English Standard Version) and CJ Mahaney (The Cross Centered Life, Sovereign Grace Ministries, Josh Harris' pastor in MD) is on the board. It is lead by Dr. Wayne Grudem who is a conservative theological scholar! It is due out in 2008 - so I've got a while to wait. Now, back to the task at hand.
Zech 5-8 (prophecy is a little hard to understand ya know!)
5.3 - Even though this was spoken to the people by Zech, it was meant even for everyone, even us (who are now hearing the words). Even for me. I are under the wrath of God (in his mercy by Jesus) when I sin - let me remember that and be more careful to do things that are pleasing to Him. Rom 1
Interesting side note on these verses: this was a time when the people were stealing from the worship places. Stealing the offerings and sacrifices of worship and using them for their own good. That is why the two (stealing and profaning) are together. Reminds me not to steal God's glory and want it for my own in periods of worship.
How has the gold become dim! Israel was holiness to the Lord (Jer. 2:3); but now this is wickedness, and wickedness is nowhere so scandalous, so odious, and, in many instances, so outrageous, as when it is found among professors of religion. This is from Matthew Henry's commentary as he talks about 5.5-11. The ephah (basket) as a tool used for measuring corn to take to market. The woman was a harlot sitting on top of it. It is likened unto the church and how we use things for our selfish gain and not the gain of the glory of God - its head, Jesus, as we read about in Col 1. (See the working together of the Word).
6.11 SIDE NOTE - The "Joshua" that the writer was contemp to, was not the Joshua I thought he was - boy, I sure don't know my timeline for the OT. the NT is so much easier! Anyway...
6.15b - "And this shall come to pass, if you will diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God." This was not a saying of the "what we do determines what happens" as probably some scholars will hear it is. But, this is just the word of the Lord telling us to obey the will of the Lord.
Another cool thing that Henry wrote - how true this is, I need to write this down elsewhere:
for the more we know of God and his will, if we know it aright, the more desirous we shall be to get a further acquaintance with God.
A look at Joshua and Jesus (both their names mean the same thing)
crowned high priest is our high priest (Hebrews)
branch vinedresser (John)
sits and rules on the throne He stands forever - by the throne of God
counsel of peace Our prince of peace (Is 9)
7.5 A word of judging the heart (as only God can do) - 'was it for me you fasted' - How often do I do what I do for God out of the delight of others. God, even as I've prayed this morning, 'unite my heart to fear your name'. Don't let me fear the praise of men or do things for their liking. That me do what I do for your praise and not want the praise of man. Oh, how hard that is for me to do. This was said not only to the people, but also to the priests. This goes to show that not only do "normal" people have this problem, but so do the leaders of our churches - which we see so often today.
7.11-12 - "they stopped their ears that they might not hear." I can almost see it. Here are they being chastised by the word of God through Zech and they plug their ears with their fingers and sing lalalalalalalalalalalalala...I can't hear you. The way I do this is two fold: I don't read the Word because I know it will be convicting, and I listen but I don't hear and practice.
7.13 "As I called, and they didn't hear, so they called, and I would not hear" How I have found to be true that answers to prayer come with obedience. Not that this is a determination of God working, because God works at his will, but obedience and prayer go hand in hand.
8.23 - May people say this is of us (particularly in Durham, and everywhere the Word of TRUTH is spoken: Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you'.
Wow - what a good chapter - and I wonder why I never read the minor prohets - they have good stuff in them. It just takes a little more hard work to get to the nuggets!