Tag Archives: Restoration and redemption

What Part of This don’t you get?

Zechariah chapters 1-2. As the book opens up we find that the Word of the LORD comes to Zechariah during the reign of King Darius second year. Darius reigned some forty years after the Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians. So the exiles have been living in exile for more than half the captivity time of seventy years. Still they don’t seem to get why they are in exile.  The LORD is still begging them to Return To Me, that I may return to You! Your fathers sinned grossly against Me. Repent! Judah still hasn’t repented for the idolatry and wayward rebellion that caused their exile. One has to ask the question – “What part of this don’t you get?” Similar is the way many Americans live today.  We live in a very corrupt society, we have just been through a horrendous election, and we still don’t get why we are in such dire straits.  My belief is the Church has compromised with the world and become “comfortable with the world, just as the world has become comfortable with us – they are comfortable because there isn’t any conviction or preaching about the ungodliness prevalent in our society. In other words, the Church has become irrelevant to the World – Matthew 5:13-16 tells us the problem. We have lost our Saltiness and Light emitting ability.

When the people of God confess/repent of their sins, God is Faithful to cleanse us. [1 John 1:9]  Just as God is faithful to discipline for corruption, He is also faithful to forgive and restore. It is interesting that as the Red Horse and White horse were patrolling the earth. The Angel then comes and ask “How long will you be angry with Israel?” The answer is the hope for restoration for Israel and the Promise Land. However as God restores Judah, His wrath will be against the other pagan nations for they have made “sport” of the fact that Israel and Judah have fallen on hard times and been devastated. God will turn His wrath against those that “capitalized” on the punishment of Judah. There will be a future for Judah, we know for the people will return to the Promise Land and rebuild the Temple and repair the walls during Ezra and Nehemiah’s days.

Israel and Judah were punished for their failure to listen to the warnings given by the prophets and for their sensuous idolatry of Baal. They had become too much like the world and God had to cleanse His people. Sometimes we won’t get to the point of repentance until we are “broken” by the benevolent hand of God.

I still believe that the Church in America is still “put on notice” if you do not repent I will bring all the disasters and wrath intended for the unbelieving nations upon you. As I have stated several times this last year – “Christ not Caesar is the answer.” Only Jesus and the return of His people to holy and godly living and obedience will remedy our nation of its ills.

The vision of 4 horns – the nations that subdued Israel and Judah – I think of how the people of Israel were scattered to the 4 winds/directions of the earth during this time. [2:6]But God will and did gather His people once again; with the promise of prosperity. In 2:13, we get the picture that God has been “aroused or slumbering and has awoke to work.” God is going to do great things again with His Chosen people Israel. He has His plan and that plan includes preparing Judah, Jerusalem and the people for the coming of His Son. In 2:11 we find the promise of many nations will join themselves to the Lord – this has to be seen as the “spread of the gospel” because of Jesus Christ.

The warning of the nations rings true – if you mistreat and plunder My People – you will be destroyed. A lesson here, God will use anyone and even unbelieving nations to correct and discipline His people, but that doesn’t give them the right to abuse the power given them by God.

There could be even worse days ahead of us, especially if we continue to let the warnings go unheeded. God will not be mocked, for whatsoever a man soweth he will also reap [Gal 6:7-9] 2 Chronicles 7:14 – IF My People, the future depends on our return to the Lord and repent of our sins.

 

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Same Song, different verse

Micah the prophet is our reading for this week. Nothing is new with what Micah has to say to God’s people. Micah ministers during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah; for about the span of 35 years. He writes during the time of Isaiah. All his prophecy is before the fall of Samaria in 722 BC. It is interesting to listen to the warnings over and over again – yet the people of God will not hear the message of calamity and destruction coming for them. The result of their wayward rebellion is destruction and turmoil – a right punishment for their actions against God. It is also interesting that we rarely have to talk about disobedience to the bottom seven of the 10 commandments, for our sins are contained within the first three and our idolatry. Micah brings prophetic judgment against both Northern and Southern kingdoms. While the Northern Kingdom was radical engulfed in Baal worship, Judah is no better, in that they follow suit while still “performing the rituals” at the Temple of Solomon.

I won’t repeat the continued message of how God was going to punish His people, but there are some very pointed verses that bear our attention. In chapter three, we find a very graphic description of just how bad times will be; the people will become cannibalistic and eat their own children’s flesh. [3:1-4]

Sin has always promised more than it could give, kept people longer than they wished and cost more than people could pay. Yet here today we are living in such a time as they. Oh, we may have different descriptions for our sins, but sins they are!

While there will be captivity and exile for God’s people, there is Hope. What a wonderful message from God! Even though mankind will rebel and even hate God, He lovingly initiates the way of return to Him. Jesus the Messiah, He is the Advocate and “Kinsman Redeemer” for us – our Go’El. In Chapter 4:3; a great message of future restoration. The “Last Days” is clearly the time frame for the war instruments to be redesigned. We are not there yet – I see this as the time of the Millennial Reign of Christ. Jesus will have judged the nations, and begun to reign. Only then will weapons become obsolete. The message of Grace and future is caught up in the prophetic prediction of the “Messiah’s birth” in Bethlehem. Micah 5:2 promises the coming Messiah – the religious leaders knew where to find the Messiah, even though they were a mere 6 miles from Jesus, they might as well have been a thousand – they didn’t look for Him at all.

We are not without knowledge, God has told us His plan. He accomplished all that the prophets had said. We have the plan of God recorded for us in Revelation and places such as the Olivet Discourse – we are not ignorant – just stiff-necked. What does God want from people, His people? Very clearly it isn’t the sacrifices of animals – God wants us! In Micah 6:8; it is clearly delineated what God wants – a pure heart, a submissive soul – God wants us to BE what we were always intended to BE before sin. “You are to BE holy, as I AM is holy. Years went by before God did what He predicted – remember, God is not slack concerning His Promise – 2 Peter 3:9. We dare not think that God’s delay is His neglect of performing His plans – its called Mercy and Grace!

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