Saturday, December 21, 2019

Zechariah 13

Today's reading in our daily plan is Zechariah 13. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • The chapter begins with "On that day" which is a reference to what was described in the previous chapter. There Zechariah gave a prophecy (a God-given predictive picture of the future) of Jesus' death. We are told here that "on that day" a fountain will be opened to cleanse people "from sin and impurity." The fountain symbolizes God's forgiveness, which is available to anyone who chooses to drink from it.
  • Verses 2-6 provide a picture of the final days of earth as we know it. There will be a cleansing and evil will be abolished. Idols (physical representations of false gods) and false prophets (people who had claimed to speak for God but really did not) will be put in their place.
  • Jesus quoted verse 7 before he was arrested on the night before he was crucified (see Matthew 26:31). This is one of hundreds of prophecies about Jesus in the Old Testament, all of which he perfectly fulfilled.
  • The references to "one-third" in verses 8 and 9 speak of a "remnant" of people who continue to trust and follow God even when it is difficult and others choose not to.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • God's forgiveness flows like a fountain. It can cleanse you from sin and impurity, all of your guilt and shame. Whatever you have done, you can go to God and "drink" from his grace.
  • Jesus said, "For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it" (Matthew 7:13-14). The uncomfortable truth is that most people never choose to follow God, and when it gets difficult, many choose to unfollow him.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • Where do you need forgiveness from God? Is it some "big" sin from your past that continues to haunt you? Or some recent sin (or pattern of sin) that you have accepted as normal? Take some time to talk to God, confess your sin to him, and drink from his fountain of forgiveness.
  •  In the end, the only thing that will matter is if we put our faith in God and stayed faithful. Knowing that so many don't, what can you do to grow your faith so that when it gets difficult, you will stay faithful? Whatever it is, do it!