Today’s readings cover everything from the lens we should use when we view our circumstances and how we “see” God to the danger of social upheaval. We’ll, also, look at more of God’s judgment during the Tribulation as He continues to turn up the heat. Here in Revelation 16 God pours out the seven bowls judgments. Part of which includes: incurable sores, water turned to blood, intense heat, darkness, floods, earthquakes, and unbearable pain.
How do you “see” things?
What kind of lens?
God’s people had spent 70 years in captivity in Babylon (1.12). Now the first group of exiles, including Zechariah, had returned to Jerusalem.
They had begun rebuilding the temple, but had become indifferent, more focused on their personal lives than God’s agenda (Hag. 1.1-11). God used Haggai to call them to repentance and a re-commitment to God’s priorities.
Now Zechariah was to encourage them and keep them moving ahead. He reminded them of God’s promises, especially the promise that Messiah would one day come and inhabit the temple.
I imagine the people returned to Jerusalem excited to start rebuilding. But when the work turned out to be hard and God’s enemies attacked them (Neh. 4.7-9), they must have lost their enthusiasm. Perhaps the people of Zechariah’s day began to allow their circumstances to dictate what they believed about God.
That can be a temptation for us, too. When things don’t work out the way we had planned or when God doesn’t answer our prayers the way we desire, we weaken or give up altogether. We begin to believe He no longer loves us or conclude that He isn’t really good. Continue reading