Jesus referred to Himself as "the good shepherd." Zechariah 11 presents us with a picture of one who could only be described as "a bad shepherd!"
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Israel's relationship with the Lord has certainly seen its share of ups (exodus, conquest, David, godly kings) and downs (wilderness wanderings, civil war, idolatry, exile). After losing everything to the Babylonians, the people naturally wondered, "Is that it? Is our special relationship with God over?"
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Monday, November 28, 2016
Saturday, November 26, 2016
Thursday, November 24, 2016
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Monday, November 21, 2016
Saturday, November 19, 2016
In their quest to make Judah great again, the Jews got to work on rebuilding the Temple. While not huge like Solomon's Temple, it was still pretty respectable as the central focus of worship. When questioned about it by their enemies, they held a trump card: permission from Cyrus had been given them many years earlier. Darius researched the Jews' contention and found that it was just like they had said. In fact, Darius agreed that not only was the Temple to be rebuilt, but the cost for doing so was to come out of the royal revenues (vs. 8). The opposition melted away, and the construction was finally completed. A service of dedication was held, followed by a Passover celebration (vs. 16 and 19). The Jews were back, and so was the Temple.
Friday, November 18, 2016
Thanks to the prodding of two prophets (Haggai and Zechariah), the temple construction resumes. As the work gets going again, however, so does the opposition. The governor Tattenai comes along to ask the Jews what they think they are doing. When he doesn't get a satisfactory answer from them, the governor pens a letter to Darius the king asking for guidance. In the meantime, the work continues and the rebuilding project goes forward. As the Jews said to Tattenai, "Then this Sheshbazzar came and laid the foundations of the house of God in Jerusalem; and from that time until now it has been under construction, and it is not yet finished" (vs. 16). The chapter ends with the expectation of a reply from Darius in this matter. Will the rebuilding be allowed to continue, or will it be put to a stop once again?
The reconstruction of the Temple did not go smoothly. It wasn't like the days of Solomon where David had prepared everything beforehand. Instead, Zerubbabel actually had to face down political opposition from some of Judah's hostile neighbors who were successful in interrupting the work of rebuilding.
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Ezra 2 reads like some of the other census records we see in the Bible. Here the ones enumerated are those returning from exile. They are the remnant of God's people that were spared and now have the responsibility of restoring the nation.
Monday, November 14, 2016
Sunday, November 13, 2016
Saturday, November 12, 2016
Everything about Daniel 11 is obvious, so there's no need for me to blog about it. You understand this clearly, right?
Friday, November 11, 2016
Thursday, November 10, 2016
The book of Daniel consists of two parts. The first six chapters are narratives describing events that happened to Daniel and his friends. The last six chapters detail visions that were given to Daniel, along with his prophetic interpretations. As we enter into the second half of Daniel, buckle your seatbelts for some pretty wild images!
Friday, November 4, 2016
The story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in Daniel 3 is pretty straightforward. They are required to either fall down and worship the statue that Nebuchadnezzar has set up, or be thrown into a fiery furnace. Unfortunately, what the king was asking the Jews to do was idolatry - something forbidden for them by God.