Tag Archives: nations

Ezekiel 34-36; Psalm 86; John 12

My husband and I were having a discussion the other day about the state of our nation. Perhaps most aging generations reflect similarly in comparing what once was with what is now, and pondering what will come. Our ruminations based on opinions and media hype invariably give way to God’s word, for He alone has authority over nations. In Him are truths, promises, and enlightenment that supersede the norms, deceit, and smokescreens of man.

Because my husband and I believe in both God’s judgment and His mercy, we wondered what our nation may become in the near future. Of course, we are talking American politics and culture. Being unsure, we sought (and continue to seek) answers from God.

Ezekiel, who was an Old Testament prophet sent by God, had much to say about God’s involvement in building up and tearing down nations. In Ezekiel 34:25-31, God assured His exiled people, “I will make a covenant of peace…” with them. “…they shall know that I am the Lord.” The people were promised security from foreign aggressor, prosperity and productivity, and His lasting relationship with them. Does God consider America as His chosen or are Christians in America becoming the remnant of an exiled people?

On the other hand, Ezekiel said that God would “stretch out His hand” against those who had taken advantage of His people, all “who gave My land to themselves as a possession, with wholehearted joy and spiteful minds, in order to plunder its open country.” By their destruction, God said, they “will know that I am the Lord.” (35:3-4).

At this point in reading Scripture, my husband and I were nodding in agreement with God’s judgments, but before we could say, “Yes, Lord, go get’em!” we read further. For in Ezekiel 36, God provided an explanation for intervening on behalf of His people. God did not save them because of their piety or righteousness; in fact, He said, “I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went.” Ouch! Like Israel, can it be that our complacency, complicity, and crumbling beneath pressure contributed to the problems we now see in our nation? Thankfully, in spite of disobedience by His people, and through God’s desire for all to know Him, He sanctified His great name. God said, “when I am hallowed in you before their eyes…the nations shall know that I am the Lord…”

Hallowed in them – in us. What a privilege to be the undeserved object of His affection! Now because of Christ’s redeeming work on the Cross, God will cleanse us. He “will give [us] a new heart and put a new spirit within [us].” By His Holy Spirit we are helped to walk in His statutes, keep His judgments, and do them. In John 12:27-28, Jesus, talking about His agony over impending death said, “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.” When our souls are troubled by what we see happening in our nation, can we become the instrument of change? Can we say, “Father, glorify Your name.”

We can start by praying Psalm 86: “For to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul…teach me Your ways,” (for Your ways are not like mine). “Unite my heart to fear Your name,” (so that I may not be double-minded).  Help us by Your Holy Spirit to stand up against “the proud and the mob of violent men who have not set You before them.” Then we can be confident that, “All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, and shall glorify Your name.”

Amen!

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Ezekiel, John, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Uncategorized

Zechariah 1, Zechariah 2, Zechariah 3, Zechariah 4, 3 John 1

Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Return to Me,” says the LORD of hosts, “and I will return to you,” says the LORD of hosts. “Do not be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets preached, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Turn now from your evil ways and your evil deeds.”’ Zechariah 1:3-4

For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. 3 John 1:3-4

Read at – http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Zech1,2,3,4;%203%20John&version=NKJV

 Zechariah 1                 The Angel of the Lord answered “I am zealous for Jerusalem” v.14

             I am so grateful Lord that You are zealous and jealous (1) FOR Your people. I am one of Your people because of Your Son’s, the Lord Jesus Christ, Atonement. (2)

             Righteous and merciful is Your Word my Lord God! (3) You are Accurate in Your warning to me. You urge me because You want to relent on the judgment which is due because of my selfish or man pleasing thoughts, words, actions and attitudes! You command me to repent and live for You so I do not to waste my words, actions or any part of me – and instead use all of me under You – Who IS Authority. (4) Thank You for Your Mercy in speaking with me!! While there is no condemnation for me in Christ Jesus, You created me to honor and worship You with my life. (5)

                 Lord God, I fear You because You are Great. You communicate boldly:

Zechariah 2              – Then I raised my eyes and said, “Where are you going?” – “To measure Jerusalem, to see what is its width and what is its length. – ‘For I,’ says the Lord, ‘will be a wall of fire all around her, and I will be the glory in her midst.’” – For thus says the Lord of hosts: “He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye.

Zechariah 3              –  Then he showed me – the Angel of the Lord and Satan standing at His right hand to oppose Him. And the Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord Who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire? – “Says the Lord of hosts, ‘And I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.”  (6)

Zechariah 4              –  Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,” Says the Lord of hosts. – he shall bring forth the capstone With shouts of “Grace, grace to it!”’”  (7)

                 You speak for my benefit! You place a protective wall around me, who fears You. I am the apple of Your eye. You rebuke my accusers (8). You took all of my iniquity away in one day! The day I accepted the crucifixion of Jesus Christ for myself! Whom then should I fear? (9) No one by You. All-Loving God, You did it by Your Holy Spirit, not by any of my works. You are my Foundation and very sure reward! I am no different than any other person born again by the Blood of Jesus! Lord God be praised!! And there are multitudes of us presently on the earth! You protect our very souls, mind and spirit until we meet you in Heaven! (10) 

               But not so for the other multitudes who refute You, ignore You, and despise You with their hearts, minds and lives. I, too, was Your enemy before You changed me. (11)

For those who do not repent (Zechariah 1:3-4) Zechariah 1-4 says:

             “Your fathers, where are they? Yet surely My words and My statutes, Which I commanded My servants the prophets, Did they not overtake your fathers?” “So they returned and said: ‘Just as the Lord of hosts determined to do to us, According to our ways and according to our deeds, So He has dealt with us.’” (12)

             I am exceedingly angry with the nations at ease; – For I was a little angry, And they helped—but with evil intent.”

            “Then the Lord showed me four craftsmen. And I said, “What are these coming to do?” – So he said, “These are the horns that scattered Judah, so that no one could lift up his head; but the craftsmen are coming to terrify them, to cast out the horns of the nations that lifted up their horn against the land of Judah to scatter it.” – For thus says the Lord of hosts: “He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you – For surely I will shake My hand against them, and they shall become spoil for their servants. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me.”

No one can escape Your view or Your Hand, Lord God. We each must give an account to You. (13)

“They are the eyes of the Lord, Which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth.” Zechariah 4:10

             God my Father, when I consider the current news, national and international, the cultures’ patterns and people’s words which defy Your Word, it awakens me to the pervasive, destructive, degrading, perverted and sickening effect of sin from each individual onto all others. Worldwide every kind of crime is enacted within the ‘gangs’ of bullies; whether they are a part of a corrupt government, company or within organizations of all types, and even within families. It can be overwhelming and make me feel sick inside. Yet Your Word stands firm, It never changes and it Will accomplish all that You say! (14)

 3 John 1        For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God. (v.3-4,11)

                Yet I rejoice and am grateful, relieved and strengthened by the sharp contrast of the words and actions of Your numerous followers, Lord Jesus! Everywhere, in the midst of rebellious families, wayward organizations and deceptive companies and governments – Your people stand Firm and Bright. Oh what Glory You receive! Please continue to faithfully, lavishly pour out Your Zechariah 1-4 blessings on them since they incur intense rejection and pain due to their faithfulness to You, Lord Jesus Christ. Their perpetrators do not know that it is really You, Lord Jesus, Who they are disdaining. (15)

           No one can have the last word but You Omnipotent God! No one can out last You Ever! satan and his demons are powerless against You. They know You and shudder (James 2:19) in fear! Lord God, please send workers into the harvest field, pour out Your Holy Spirit to soften and regenerate those who are heading to hell so they will repent to You and not suffer eternal torment. Lord Jesus, Magnify and Glorify Yourself over the whole earth! (16)

 “They are the eyes of the Lord, Which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth.” Zech 4:10

Bible Insights –

1-  Exodus 20:5-6; Exodus 34:14; Deuteronomy 4:24; Deuteronomy 6:15; Deuteronomy 32:16; Joshua 24:19; Ezekiel 39:25; Nahum 1:2

2- John 1:1-3; John 1:10-14; John 1:29; John 3:3-21; John 4:10-14; John 4:25-26; John 7:38; Revelation 7:17; Psalm 103:12; Isaiah 1:18; Hebrews 8:12; Hebrews 10:17; Ephesians 2:13; Hebrews 10:19-23; Hebrews 13:12; Matthew 26:28; Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 11:17-20; Ezekiel 36:24-32; 1 John 3:1

3- Zechariah 1:3-4, Jeremiah 15:19

4- Jer 18:7-10, Jonah 3:10, Deut 28

5- Romans 8:1; Revelation 4:11; Hebrews 10:38; Hebrews 11:6; Job 28:28; Proverbs 9:10; Proverbs 16:6; Psalm 37:4; Colossians 3:23-24

6- Matthew 4:1-11, Mark 1:12-13, Luke 4:1-13, Romans 8, Hebrews 7:25, Matt 28:18-20

7- Psalm 118:22, Isaiah 28:16, Matthew 21:42-44, Ephesians 2:19-22, 1 Peter 2:4-10

8- Revelation 12:10, 1 Peter 5:8, Ephesians 4:27, Psalm 1, Mark 13:12-13, Luke 6:17-23, John 15:18-27, Matthew 10:11-42

9- Isaiah 52:13- 53, Romans 8, Luke 12:5, Proverbs 14:27, Proverbs 29:25

10- Ephesians 2:1-10; Isaiah 64:6; Matthew 7:24-29; Genesis 15:1; Psalm 18:2; Psalm 18:31; Psalm 18:46; Romans 5:8; Philippians 1:6; Ephesians 1:13-14; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Ephesians 4:30; Ephesians 1

11- 2 Corinthians 5:17

12- Psalm 119:89; 2 Samuel 22:31; Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29; Malachi 3:6; James 1:17; Isaiah 55:11; Hebrews 4:12-13, Matthew 24:35, Romans 1:18-2:16; Deuteronomy 28

13- Hebrews 4:12-13, Romans 14:12, 1 Peter 4:5, Matthew 12:36, Hebrews 9:27

14 – Zechariah 1:6; Psalm 119:89; 2 Samuel 22:31; Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29; Malachi 3:6; James 1:17; Isaiah 55:11; Hebrews 4:12-13; Matthew 24:35; Romans 1:18-2:16; Deuteronomy 28; Isaiah 59:1

15-  1 John 3:1; Matthew 25:31-46; John 15:18-27; Job 22:28; Matthew 5:16; John 1:1-5; 2 Corinthians 4:3-6; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Philippians 2:15; 2 Peter 1:19; Revelation 21:23; Romans 5:8; Luke 4; Luke 4:31-41; Mark 5:1-20; Mark 1:32-39; Luke 8:26-39; Luke 8:49-56

16- Revelation 1:1-8; Revelation 1:11; Revelation 21:6; Revelation 22:13; Revelation 22:20-21

 Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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Filed under 3 John, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Uncategorized, Zechariah