Ezra 5:1-5 – Questioning Your Motives

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I’ve reflected on the prophecies of Haggai and Zechariah before in the book of the 12 Prophets. These prophets of God spoke encouragement to those charged with rebuilding the temple of the Lord. Haggai, especially, is a hidden gem filled with all sorts of encouragement we can apply today.

We’re seeing how this rebuilding project is getting a lot of attention from the enemies of God. But God ordained this work, so I’m confident he won’t let it fail.  In today’s reading, Tattenai, governor of the province Jerusalem is part of, attempts to distract the people so they question their motives. We can be thankful the people had prophets like Haggai and Zechariah to keep them grounded and devoted to God’s purpose.

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Zechariah 14:1-21 – Renewed Relationship

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The book of Zechariah closes with an apocalyptic prophecy. The events depicted here have yet to be fulfilled completely. This chapter describes the path to a renewed relationship between God and his people.

God’s kingdom will be fully revealed once evil is purged for good. Jesus ushered in the kingdom with his birth, life, and death. But the big reveal is yet to come. It’s what the apocalyptic prophecies speak about. Jesus himself told us about those end days and the glorious victory.

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Zechariah 13:7-9 – The Scattering

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Zechariah’s reference to shepherd here would be again about the messianic shepherd, Jesus. You may recall Jesus’ own words to his disciples in the garden before his arrest. He told them they would be scattered, and they were for a time.

Jesus quotes Zechariah when he is walking with his disciples on the way to the garden. Matthew 26:31 says, “On the way, Jesus told them, ‘Tonight all of you will desert me. For the Scriptures say, ‘God will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’”

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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 12:10-14 – Regret or Remorse?

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Recall the story of Jesus’ crucifixion. His side was pierced to make sure he had died. Another prophet also prophesied about it. Isaiah 53:5 says, “But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins.” Zechariah’s reference to our king being pierced speaks to how the people feel about it after the fact.

Zechariah speaks to the mourning the people will feel when they realize they have let their king be killed. The very one they had been waiting for to save them was now dead. Zechariah’s words come long before Jesus was even born, so the people wouldn’t understand what this all means.

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