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Bible Teaching, Bible Study, Teaching, Verses, Sermons, online, mp3, classesA Bible Teaching Ministry of Galyn Wiemers

Daily Devotions, Evening and Morning Devotional


Sunrise on Temple Mount in Jerusalem; Back to Previous Devotion

September 19 - Morning

In the fourth year of King Darius, the word of the Lord came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, the month of Kislev. The people of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regem-Melek, together with their men,
to entreat the Lord by asking the priests of the house
of the Lord Almighty and the prophets,
“Should I mourn and fast in the fifth month,
as I have done for so many years?”
Then the word of the Lord Almighty came to me:  
“Ask all the people of the land and the priests,
‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months for the past seventy years, was it really for
me that you fasted?.....Are these not the words
the Lord proclaimed through the earlier prophets ….’” And the word of the Lord came again to Zechariah: “This is what the Lord Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another.
Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless,
the foreigner or the poor.
Do not plot evil against each other.’
- Zechariah 7:4-10

Sunset on the Sea of Galilee; Click to go to next devotion  
Rituals and Righteousness    

On December 7, 518 (22 months after his eight night visions) Zechariah is asked by God to
prophecy to a delegation of Jews who have come down from Bethel to ask the priests and the prophets in Jerusalem a question regarding the fast they have been keeping for 68 years to mourn the destruction of the Temple by the Babylonians in 586. This seems like a logical question since Zerubbabel is in the process of rebuilding the Temple on the same location.

The names of the men from Bethel are Babylonian names so it would appear these men are Jews who were born in Babylon during the captivity and have returned to Israel to reside at Bethel.

Although it is a reasonable question concerning the observance of the fast considering the
situation and the activities occurring in Jerusalem at that time, yet the Lord through Zechariah rebukes the Bethel delegation. The reason for the rebuke is simple: The forefathers in the
previous generation had been taken to captivity not because they failed to follow rigid religious
rituals, but because they did not practice justice and mercy in their society. The prophets of
those days (Jeremiah, Zephaniah, Ezekiel, etc.) warned them that God was looking for godly
lives not religious rituals alone.

The very fact that these men had made the effort to make a trip to Jerusalem to enquire about
a single religious ritual meant they were getting started on the wrong foot. Through Zechariah
God told them the same thing he told the people of Jerusalem before they were taken into
captivity. God is looking for justice and mercy. He does not want to see violence and oppression. Obviously the rituals were important considering the fact God was empowering his people to rebuild the Temple where rituals could be conducted and knowledge could be gained through the explanation of these religious practices. The problem in the past was lack of obedience, not the lack of knowledge.

  Christian Quote from Church History

 "Let us rejoice in the truth, wherever we find its
lamp burning."

– Albert Schweitzer




Something to Ponder??
 "Truth is a
description of reality."
Hebrew and Greek Word Study   Facts and Information

Anah (Hb) – Affliction (Eng) – The Hebrew word anah means “to be bowed down,”
“to be afflicted,” or “to be humbled.” Never are these positions or situations that
God desires for any people. He does not want them “bowed down” or “afflicted” or
“humbled.” Instead God’s desire in the Bible is that people stand up straight and
be healthy with hopeful attitudes. Concerning God and anah, Lamentations 3:33 says,
“He does not willingly bring affliction (anah) or grief to the children of men.” The Hebrew
text says that God does not afflict them “from his heart.” This means it is not in his
character and he does not do it willingly. Anah comes because of other reasons.
The affliction God sent on Jerusalem that Jeremiah was lamenting in the
book of Lamentations indeed came from the hand of God, but it came because
of the rebellious attitudes and sinful actions of the people of Jerusalem. God
brought the anah but not willingly. What God sent willingly were prophets like
Jeremiah in an attempt to call the people away from anah. It is crucial to
also understand that according to Job 42:1-6 there are other reasons affliction
arise that are not knowable nor are they able to be understood by man. 

  Jeremiah 34:7 says
the last three cities to
fall to Nebuchadnezzar
in 586 BC were
Lachish and
The Lachish Ostracon records the words of a soldier as he watched Azekah fall to Nebuchadnezzar in
586 BC. He writes:
“…we are watching for the signals of Lachish…for we cannot see Azekah.”
Confession to Action   Facts and Information
Do I give God ritual without reality? Today I will not merely honor God with rituals and regulations,
but I will honor him by living with justice, mercy and compassion in my words and actions.
  "Discipline your children, for in that there is hope;
    do not be a willing party to their death."
- Proverbs 19:18
Read the Bible in a Year; Bible Reading Program
Read one chapter each day to read through the narrative portion (or, the story line) of the whole Bible Genesis-Acts in one year. Read the General Text of the Bible Read the Complete Text of the Bible in a Year
Daniel 6 Luke 12 Ezra 4-5
Prayer for Today
Personal Prayer Church Prayer Item National Prayer Concerns World Prayer Concerns
Godly character
and words
Life application
of Biblical Truth
Political parties Niger - need missionaries
Photo of Jerusalem; Pictures of Israel Bible Map and Diagram

Chart comparing the life spans listed in Genesis. (click on image for larger size)
Ein Harod, the springs that Gideon and his men drank from, at the foot of Mount Gilboa (Judges 7). (click on image for larger size)  
Details and Explanation of Sets & Reps Devotional System Here Make a donation to support Generation Word Bible Teaching Ministry
Reps & Sets is a daily Bible devotional for Christians from Generation Word Bible Teaching used each morning and evening.

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Generation Word - Bible Teaching Ministry   Generation Word - Bible Teaching Ministry