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August 1, 2022 - Zechariah 7-11

Oops! I skipped over the last chapters of Zechariah and went straight to the book of Malachi. I have to pay closer attention to my reading schedule.

The people of God had failed, in prosperous and blessed times, to live like the people of God. When discipline and exile came upon them for seventy years, they fasted and cried out to God, but their efforts were not really directed to God; rather, they acted for themselves in order to get out of the “pickle” they found themselves in. They acted very much like the thief who is sorry not so much for his crime but because he has been caught in his crime. From Zechariah: “The Lord of Hosts says this: ‘Make fair decisions. Show faithful love and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor, and do not plot evil in your hearts against one another’” (7:9,10). However, “They refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears that they might not hear” (7:11).

What good were their pleadings, now? Yet, the Lord says, “Behold, I will save my people from the east country and from the west country, and I will bring them to dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in faithfulness and in righteousness” (8:7-8). This is the same God who encourages us through Paul: “where sin increased, grace abounded all the more” (5:20), not that we might presumptuously sin but that we might constantly look to our Savior for grace and mercy.

Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,

Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!

Yonder on Calvary’s mount out-poured–

There where the blood of the Lamb was spilt.

Grace, grace, God's grace,

Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;

Grace, grace, God's grace,

Grace that is greater than all our sin! --Julia H. Johnston (1910)

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