By Emma Heddle
Whether it’s what we’re doing next week, or where we’re going to be in 20 years time, there is always a fascination surrounding the future. Yet no matter how hard we try, we cannot work out the future, none of us know what tomorrow has instore. We may never be able to see a moment ahead, but we can trust the one who does. Zechariah in today’s OT passage reveals to the Israelites a little bit of their future, a tiny piece of God’s plan for them; and he brings good news.
In today’s passage, Israel are told that they will be restored, that they, God’s chosen people, will be cleansed from their sin and their enemies destroyed. They are reminded that the “Lord, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth and who forms the spirit of man within” will “cleanse them from their sin and impurities”; they will be a restored people.
Zechariah not only tells the Israelites that there is hope, he points to the one who will bring it. Jesus, the Messiah, is the hope for the future. The Jews are told that their hope is found in God, the one who is in complete control; and the same is true for our lives. As today’s proverb passage reminds us, God is a “shield to those who take refuge in Him”. Even if we don’t understand what’s happening, if we can’t see a way ahead, when we rely on God we are secure in Him. We may not understand His ways, but we can be sure of His character, we can trust that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him.
In today’s NT passage, God’s message was to those who had already experienced Jesus’ restoring power, but due to their own decisions or external circumstances had lost sight of God’s promises. The challenge to us and the Churches in Ephesus, Smyrna and Pergamum is to “persevere”; to keep going.
The letters address specific issues in each church, they point out the good, as well as the bad, they encourage the believers and show what still needs work. God’s yearning for His people to walk with Him is the same today as it was then. Are there areas in your life where you need to see God’s restoring power work? Before we met Jesus, we were a broken people, but through His death on the cross, the price for restoration has been paid. How much would our lives change if we truly lived in the knowledge that we have been restored, that we are His chosen people?
Today’s picture was taken by…
Jess Wiffen. Thanks Jess!
If you’d like to take your own picture to potentially be featured on the blog, then get your Soul Survivor Bible in One Year, and take a picture of yourself – and your Bible – at some interesting or colourful location. Then email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The pictures will need to be a pretty good resolution (we use 640px by 360 px so at least as big as that), landscape photos work best and if you include the day of the reading in the picture then make sure you send it to us a good few days before that reading, so we have time to include it in that day’s post! We’ll credit all photographers!