Zechariah 9:11-17 – Lost Sheep

Read Zechariah 9:11-17

Chapter 9 has been interesting because it seems to jump from theme to theme. With the brief oasis in our last reading that spoke about the king riding on a donkey, we now seem to be back to the promise of the coming kingdom and how God will make things right for his people.

While there are a lot of rich images in this reading, verse 16a was the verse that spoke to me the most today. It reads, “On that day the Lord their God will rescue his people, just as a shepherd rescues his sheep.” Of course, I couldn’t help but see Jesus as that shepherd and remember the story he told about the lost sheep.

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Zechariah 7:11-14 – Implications

Read Zechariah 7:11-14

This third section of Zechariah centers around the “implications” of this new age of believers. Those returning from exile will be the remnant of God’s chosen to repopulate Jerusalem and Judah. But what does that look like?

Zechariah’s first audience kept the faith in God alive for us today. There were enough of them who listened to God’s message, warning them to not fall into the same traps their ancestors had. They say “history repeats itself,” and I suppose we see evidence of that in the Bible where patterns emerge in human behavior and motivations.

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James 4:17 – Sinning

Read James 4:17

This will be your shortest reading ever! But it was a verse that packed a powerful punch, and it didn’t seem to fit with what came before or after. I chose to reflect on this single verse on its own. Here it is again from the NLT translation:

“Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do
and then not do it.”

James’ audience would know about sin. Those Jewish believers would even have flashbacks to following the law of Moses and all the sacrifices they now didn’t make. But what James is talking about here is not being sinful by breaking a law you should know better than to break, but to not do good when doing good is the right answer. Does that make sense?

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