Today’s Reading: Zech 3:1–5:11, Acts 21:27–22:21, Job 29:1–12
Today’s Theme: God, Sovereign over the enemy
Today’s theme is about God’s sovereignty over the enemy and His sovereignty over our call to serve Him.
The Lord rebukes Satan
And the LORD said to Satan, “The LORD rebuke you, O Satan! The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is not this a brand plucked from the fire?” (Zechariah 3:2, ESV)
This is key in spiritual warfare, it is not about us rebuking the devil, but about declaring that the Lord rebukes the devil. This is picked up in the book of Jude.
Notice the Lord declares Himself as the one who choose Jerusalem. God has chosen His people too and in that context of ownership, He rebukes the enemy over our lives.
Iniquity taken away
And the angel said to those who were standing before him, “Remove the filthy garments from him.” And to him he said, “Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I will clothe you with pure vestments.” (Zechariah 3:4, ESV)
This happens to us in Christ, God deals with our accuser the devil, removes the dirty clothes of sin from us and takes away our iniquity. But that is not it, we are then clothed in robes of righteousness… Hallelujah
Jesus the Branch
Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, you and your friends who sit before you, for they are men who are a sign: behold, I will bring my servant the Branch. (Zechariah 3:8, ESV)
The Branch is a reference to Jesus.
Fight by the Spirit
Then he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts. (Zechariah 4:6, ESV)
We walk and fight not by our own might or power, but by God’s Spirit. That is why in the next verse, the prophet is told to shout grace, grace to the mountain. It is by the grace of God that the mountain-like obstacles in our lives, will come down.
Complete the task
“The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also complete it. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you. (Zechariah 4:9, ESV)
The Lord helps us to complete the tasks He has given us to do.
Our plumb line
For whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice, and shall see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. “These seven are the eyes of the LORD, which range through the whole earth.” (Zechariah 4:10, ESV)
Our plumb line is the Bible.
Serve in honesty
I will send it out, declares the LORD of hosts, and it shall enter the house of the thief, and the house of him who swears falsely by my name. And it shall remain in his house and consume it, both timber and stones.” (Zechariah 5:4, ESV)
We must give and serve with honest hearts, this reminds me of what happened to Ananias and Sapphira.
And he said, “This is Wickedness.” And he thrust her back into the basket, and thrust down the leaden weight on its opening. (Zechariah 5:8, ESV)
Wickedness is depicted as a woman, I think this is because of the cunning deception and allurement of wickedness.
Beaten for the Lord
He at once took soldiers and centurions and ran down to them. And when they saw the tribune and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul. (Acts 21:32, ESV)
This should not be read lightly, it is likely that this was a severe beating, they were beating him to death. Remember those who are violently persecuted for their faith in Jesus today.
Use your education to God’s glory
As Paul was about to be brought into the barracks, he said to the tribune, “May I say something to you?” And he said, “Do you know Greek? (Acts 21:37, ESV)
Yes Paul knew Greek, he was a well educated man. God can use your education to His glory.
Relate to those you speak to
And when they heard that he was addressing them in the Hebrew language, they became even more quiet. And he said: (Acts 22:2, ESV)
Paul was really gifted in relating to people, he knew speaking in Hebrew would grab their attention.
And I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Rise, and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all that is appointed for you to do.’ (Acts 22:10, ESV)
God appoints, pre-plans and elects in our lives, as His chosen vessels. What have you been appointed to do?
Chosen for service
And he said, ‘The God of our fathers appointed you to know his will, to see the Righteous One and to hear a voice from his mouth; for you will be a witness for him to everyone of what you have seen and heard. (Acts 22:14–15, ESV)
Again, sovereign choice is at work even in our election for service.
Personal testimony and the Gospel
And he said to me, ‘Go, for I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’ ” (Acts 22:21, ESV)
Paul’s commission to the Gentiles was the purpose and plan of God. Also note that Paul is using personal testimony and experience to share the truth of the Gospel here.
Pray for those who have lost children
when the Almighty was yet with me, when my children were all around me, (Job 29:5, ESV)
It must have been so hard for Job, just saying this would have been heart wrenching, all of his children were killed. Pray for those who have endured the pain of losing a child.
Job the judge and counsellor
because I delivered the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to help him. (Job 29:12, ESV)
Job was not just rich, he used those riches to help others, he was like a judge in the gate of the city, like a city counsellor.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
The Gospel Coalition on Acts 22