Today’s Reading: Zech 1:1–2:13, Acts 21:1–26, Job 28:12–28
Today’s Theme: God’s Grace and Wisdom
Today’s theme looks at God’s grace and wisdom. God is gracious in calling those who have fallen away to restoration, in sending His patrol angels throughout the earth, being a wall of fire to His people and redeeming a people from all nations, tribes and tongues.
God in His wisdom and grace, warns Paul through prophetic symbolism. In Job, we hear of the preciousness of God’s wisdom.
A call to backsliders
Therefore say to them, Thus declares the LORD of hosts: Return to me, says the LORD of hosts, and I will return to you, says the LORD of hosts. (Zechariah 1:3, ESV)
This is not a call to sinners, but to God’s own people who have rebelled. Let us pray for backsliders to return to the Lord.
The patrol angels
So the man who was standing among the myrtle trees answered, ‘These are they whom the LORD has sent to patrol the earth.’ (Zechariah 1:10, ESV)
God has patrol angels, I’m sure these keep demons in check, like God’s police force.
God, gracious and comforting
And the LORD answered gracious and comforting words to the angel who talked with me. (Zechariah 1:13, ESV)
This sounds like God, He speaks gracious and comforting words to His people. God could have spoken in power and authority, but He chose to speak in a way that considers the fact that we are dust.
Jerusalem is special to God
So the angel who talked with me said to me, ‘Cry out, Thus says the LORD of hosts: I am exceedingly jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion. (Zechariah 1:14, ESV)
Jerusalem is a special place for God, unlike any other.
A wall of fire
And I will be to her a wall of fire all around, declares the LORD, and I will be the glory in her midst.’ ” (Zechariah 2:5, ESV)
Lord, be a wall of fire around our lives.
The apple of God’s eye
For thus said the LORD of hosts, after his glory sent me to the nations who plundered you, for he who touches you touches the apple of his eye: (Zechariah 2:8, ESV)
The children of Israel are the apple of God’s eye, to be against them is to poke a finger in God’s eye.
God’s people, more than national Israel
And many nations shall join themselves to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people. And I will dwell in your midst, and you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you. (Zechariah 2:11, ESV)
The people of God go beyond national Israel, this is true as the church is Jew and Gentile.
The Holy Spirit warns
And having sought out the disciples, we stayed there for seven days. And through the Spirit they were telling Paul not to go on to Jerusalem. (Acts 21:4, ESV)
The Holy Spirit used the believers to warn Paul about the danger in Jerusalem and that he should not go there.
And coming to us, he took Paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘This is how the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’ ” (Acts 21:11, ESV)
This was a genuine prophecy and we also see prophetic symbolism used. The distinction is that this is not used for a wish, but an actual prophecy.
Ready to lay it all on the line
Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” (Acts 21:13, ESV)
Paul was ready to lay it all on the line for the Gospel, we should be the same.
James not Peter
On the following day Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present. (Acts 21:18, ESV)
James, not Peter, was the leader of the church in Jerusalem. The Roman Catholic papacy has always been built on the misunderstanding that Peter was the leader of the church.
True Christianity is not anti Jewish
And when they heard it, they glorified God. And they said to him, “You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed. They are all zealous for the law, (Acts 21:20, ESV)
How can Christianity be anti Jewish when so many thousands came to faith?
No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal; the price of wisdom is above pearls. (Job 28:18, ESV)
This and all the other comparisons made are so true, wisdom is more precious than any financial thing.
“God understands the way to it, and he knows its place. (Job 28:23, ESV)
Yes, true wisdom belongs to God, this is why in James, we are encouraged to ask for wisdom.
And he said to man, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.’ ” (Job 28:28, ESV)
This is a simple working definition of wisdom.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
The Gospel Coalition on Acts 21