Zechariah 13:1-6 – Cleansed

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Jesus is that fountain, isn’t he? Who else washes our sins away? Jesus told the Samaritan woman he was the source of living water. Jesus’ own words to the crowds in John 7:38 say, “Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’”

How does it make you feel to be cleansed from your sinfulness?

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Zechariah 3:1-10 – A Burning Stick

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Our focus now shifts to the high priest’s leadership of the new people of God in this “new age” or time after captivity. Jeshua or Joshua, depending on your translation, is the high priest in this vision, having come from the Zadokite tradition. Zechariah has a front row seat to observe Joshua’s questioning and accusations by Satan himself. What a vision!

Satan’s attempts to distract Joshua are rebuked by God. The LORD says to Satan, “This man is like a burning stick that has been snatched from the fire.” Joshua would have been lost forever, consumed by the fire of sin, if he had not been plucked out of Satan’s grip. God had bigger purposes for Joshua, and this prophecy gives him great spiritual authority among the people.

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Zephaniah 3:1-8 – What Sorrow Awaits

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The reforms of Josiah will not keep the people right with God for long. Zephaniah speaks of how Jerusalem’s rebellion continues. After all the attempts to reacquaint people with God’s laws and expectations, how does the city respond? “No one can tell it anything; it refuses all correction. It does not trust in the Lord or draw near to its God.” How do you think God feels when we pull away?

We have all known people who have left the church community for one reason or another. Perhaps they had a life event happen, and rather than embrace God’s provision, turned away blaming God for the misfortune. Maybe there was some personality clash with church leadership leaving them feeling disillusioned about their faith. People will find reasons to trust their own power rather than the Holy Spirit power we’ve been given.

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2 Peter 2:1-3 – False Teachers

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Peter had no doubt witnessed false teachers at work trying to confuse people and twist the truth. Heresies have plagued the church for centuries. Such deceivers are alive and well today, too. And God is watching. These inaccurate messages are not being ignored by God.

And God is not pleased with the messengers of those heresies. Their fate is set, and they don’t even know it. As Peter says, “they will bring sudden destruction on themselves.” Their deceitful actions and teachings full of lies will catch up to them. We can rest in that assurance at least.

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Obadiah 10-14 – You Should Not Have…

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Obadiah speaks to the reasons Edom is facing their judgment. They sinned for their evil behavior against their own relatives. This passage leaves no doubt “why” calamity would fall on Edom. The Edomites brought it on themselves for more than one reason.

There is so much emphasis on “you should not have” in this reading. We often kick ourselves after doing something we realize later was a mistake. Don’t we say, “I should have known better.” The Edomites won’t get a chance to say that since they will all be destroyed. All they have is the advance warning which sets the expectation for what is coming in motion.

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