You did it! You finished! Today is your last day of reading…for 2017. I hope you gained so much from your reading and now feel closer, in some way, to God. It may be too soon, but may I encourage you to pick up the new plan tomorrow? The Bible is the living word of God. As you read through it again, you’ll gain new insights, read things differently, and hear from God in a new way. It was worth it this year. It will be worth it in 2018 too!
- 1-7 – Part of this prophecy sounds like it’s talking about the Messiah and part sounds like it’s John the Baptist. Either way, it is later fulfilled.
- 1-3 – A day of judgment is prophecied.
- 5-6 – John the Baptist was often associated with Elijah.
- 8-9 – As we all do, John confused something of God with God and worshipped the angel. The angel quickly redirected him to worship God.
- 17 – This is an open invitation to all who recognize their need for Christ to come and receive new life.
- Whatever you have, praise God with it. No excuses.
- These verses make it clear what should matter in a woman’s worth. Physical beauty is not one of them.
The Israelites who returned from exile had high hopes on them. But…they failed miserably. Here’s how:
Today’s portion of Revelation may have been written specifically for 8 year old boys. There’s a battle scene, Jesus on a horse, a beast, and a dragon. So, let your inner 8 year old boy out for this one.
- 1-5 – This oracle explains that Judah and Jerusalem will both be a challenge for anyone who possesses them and tries
- 10 – Most people would consider this a prophecy fulfilled by Jesus.
- 1-6 – This alludes to Christ’s death when people are freely forgiven of their sins.
- 7 – The church is believed to be the bride of Christ.
- 10-21 – Jesus is portrayed as a warrior on a horse. This begins the battle between Christ and the evil forces led by the beast, dragon, and false prophets. We see steady progress of Christ towards victory.
- 1-6 – The psalmist calls for us to offer praise to God and then gives reasons why we should.
- 4-7 – Here, leaders are instructed not to get drunk because it can only harm their reign. Instead the proper place for mind-altering drinks is listed.
It’s so neat when we know things that happened in the Bible and then we read more obscure parts that explain them. Did you know that Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey was prophesied into today’s Zechariah reading? It was! Reading Scripture consistently brings so much into the light.
- 1-8 – The prophecy announces judgment to come down on a variety of Israel’s enemies.
- 9-13 – This prophecy is fulfilled by Jesus when he rides into Jerusalem on a donkey on Palm Sunday.
- 8 – Note that when talking about God we say, “Who was, and is, and is to come”, but here, when talking about the beast, it is described as “who was and is not and is to come.”
- 14 – Even though the beast is powerful and will gain power as the kings give it to him, Jesus will still conquer.
- 10-21 – There are many references throughout Scripture about not just humanity, but all creatures and natural things giving praise to God. Obviously, as humans, we have the greatest ability to do so, so let’s use that ability for all it’s worth.
- A good lesson for us all. If what you’re saying isn’t of great value, stop talking.
You need to turn back to God. Zechariah said so.
We all need a voice of reason encouraging us to do the right thing. We tend to struggle on our own. In today’s reading of Zechariah, you’ll hear that voice of reason for the Israelites. He encourages them to turn back to God. Does anything he says speak to you too?
- 1-6 – Zechariah’s prophecy immediately follows Haggai’s and is addressed to post-exilic Israelites. He begins with a call to return to the Lord.
- 7-17 – This begins a vision of an angel who seems to offer God’s grace and restoration to Israel.
- 1-6 – The newborn child, though facing peril, was saved and taken to God’s throne.
- 7-12 – This depicts a massive battle between God’s angels and the devil and his angels. The devil is thrown down to earth, but is vicious in desperation.
- David’s requests of the Lord for protection are genuine and seem to come with expectation that God will come through.
- So, be sure to follow commandment #5 and obey your parents!
Remember Zerubbabel and Ezra? Haggai is a contemporary of theirs, but he’s less impressed with the faithfulness of the returning Israelites. Here’s his challenge for the people:
All the order and beauty of God’s original creation is about to be turned into opposite day. Zephaniah’s prophecy describes the destruction of Jerusalem, but, like always, there is hope in the end!
Today’s psalm is a reminder of God’s provision of care and comfort for those who are made low by the world. God doesn’t see or treat us by the world’s standards. He is not impressed with our wealth or power. He sees our needs and meets them. When people have great need, he responds greatly.
- 1-6 – Through yet another vessel, Judah is hearing of their upcoming destruction.
- 7-18 – This prophecy proclaims that destruction is coming soon and all the things the people had previously relied on will not be able to rescue them.
- 1-15 – Though Judah faced destruction from God, God still didn’t take kindly to other nations oppressing or harming Judah. They too would face judgment and destruction.
- 14-20 – Not unusually, God promises that after punishment there will be restoration for Israel. God’s ultimate desire is to restore relationship and connection with Israel.
- 1- The rainbow over the angels head is a reminder of the covenant God made with Noah and of the hope that encompasses all of the judgments.
- 1-7 – The angel with the small scroll declares that the major judgment is coming soon and that the seventh angel would bring more clarity of God’s mystery. Instead of more judgment, this angel simply brings more clarity to what is to come.
- 8-11 – The scroll tasted sweet at first because the message is good for the prophet – it is the word of God and the prophet had been faithful. It becomes bitter because the prophet, though he will not face destruction himself, is human and is being made aware of the judgment coming down on humanity.
- 6 – Throughout Scripture God raises up the lowly. This should offer us great comfort that God sees the plight of those who struggle. He does not leave them alone. When we are proud and feel that we do not need God, he obliges.
- These verses warn us that there are people out there who have evil in their heart and act upon it.
Nahum chronicles God’s justice and wrath being brought down on the Assyrian capitol city, Nineveh. This prophecy reminds us that God is always at work against evil. That’s good news.